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90 percent satisfied, 10 percent pessimistic
Date of placement
The majority of Dutch adults are satisfied with their lives. Nearly six in ten adults are also optimistic about the current state of affairs in the Netherlands.
Young people less often pessimistic
In 2018, men and women were equally likely to be satisfied with their lives. They were also equally likely to be optimistic or pessimistic about the Netherlands. Young people (aged 18 to 24) were least pessimistic. More than one-quarter were somewhat or very negative about the future of the country. People in this age group were not more likely to be optimistic compared to the over-25s, but indicated relatively often that they do not know whether things in the Netherlands are going in the right or wrong direction (14 percent).
Higher educated more optimistic
Higher educated people are more likely to be optimistic than people with low and medium education levels. Among the higher educated, 65 percent are optimistic about the Netherlands; among medium and low-skilled people, the shares are 54 and 49 percent, respectively. Native Dutch people are more likely to be pessimistic than people with a western or non-western migration background. This cannot be attributed to personal characteristics, such as the fact that western and non-western people are younger on average, or to differences in perceived health or household income. Only people with a western background are also more likely to be optimistic. Persons with a native Dutch or non-western background show no differences in terms of their optimism about the Netherlands.
There is a group of people (10 percent) who believe things are clearly going in the wrong direction. These people, who are very pessimistic about the Netherlands, are relatively often male (55 percent), between the ages of 45 and 74 (61 percent), low-skilled (39 percent) and native Dutch (81 percent).
The extent to which people are optimistic or pessimistic about the Netherlands has been measured by asking the following question: ‘What do you think of the current state of affairs in the Netherlands?’ The answer categories are: 1. Things are clearly going in the right direction; 2. Things are going somewhat in the right direction; 3. Things are going somewhat in the wrong direction; 4. Things are clearly going in the wrong direction; 5. I do not know The answer category 1 is characterised as ‘very optimistic’, category 2 as ‘somewhat optimistic’, category 3 as ‘somewhat pessimistic’ and category 4 as ‘very pessimistic’. In this news release, categories 1 and 2 have been combined to represent ‘optimism’ and categories 3 and 4 as ‘pessimism’.
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