Health

People with a native Dutch background are statistically in better health than people with either a western or non-western migration background. People with a non-western background are less likely to describe their personal health as good or very good and have a higher instance of obesity than people with a native Dutch background. In addition, whereas people with a Moroccan migration background are the least likely to smoke, people with a Turkish migration background smoke the most.

Poorer reported health among people with non-western backgrounds

People with a Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese or Antillean background are less likely to report their health as good or very good than people with a native Dutch background. This trend is most noticeable among people with a Moroccan or Turkish background. 64 percent of Moroccans aged between 12 and 64 describe their personal health as good or very good, compared with 83 percent of people in the same age bracket who do not have a migration background. This is particularly noteworthy because the average age of people with a Moroccan migration background is lower than that of people without a migration background, and young people tend to be more positive on average about their health.

First-generation Turks, Moroccans, Surinamese and Antilleans are significantly less likely than the second generation to describe their personal health as good or very good. The difference between the generations is greatest among Moroccans and Turks. One relevant factor in this finding is that the second generation, born in the Netherlands, is significantly younger than the first generation.

(Very) good self-perceived health, by background and generation, 2013/2017 (%)
GeneratieNative DutchTurkishMoroccanSurinameseAntillean
Totaal
(bevolking 12 tot 65 jaar)
82.968.263.872.676.6
Eerste generatie5752.665.872.9
Tweede generatie81.679.981.984.9

22 percent of Antilleans seriously overweight

People with Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese and Antillean backgrounds are more likely to be seriously overweight (obese) than people who do not have a migration background. 22 percent of people with an Antillean background are obese, compared with 11 percent of people with a native Dutch background. First-generation Turks, Moroccans, Surinamese and Antilleans are more likely than the second generation to suffer from obesity. One issue affecting this result is that the average age of the first generation is higher, and in general older people are more likely to be seriously overweight than young people.

The proportion of people aged between 12 and 64 who suffer from obesity increased between 2003–7 and 2013–17. This was true both for people who do not have a migration background and for people with a Turkish or Moroccan background; the increase was not statistically significant among Surinamese and Antillean people.

Smokers by background and generation, 2013/2017 (%)
GeneratieNative DutchTurkishMoroccanSurinameseAntillean
Total
(population aged 12 to 64 yrs)
25.4351428.425.6
First generation40.617.12826.4
Second generation28.39.52923.8

First generation with a Turkish background most likely to smoke

In the period from 2013 to 2017, people with a Moroccan background were significantly less likely to smoke (14 percent) than people with a native Dutch background (25 percent). At 35 percent, a relatively large proportion of Turks were smokers. People with Surinamese and Antillean backgrounds differ little in terms of smoking from people without a migration background, although at 28 percent the instance of smokers among Surinamese people was a little higher. First-generation Moroccans and Turks are more likely to smoke than their compatriots in the second generation. There is little generational difference in the proportion of smokers among Surinamese and Antilleans.

Obesity rates by background and generation, 2013/2017 (%)
AchtergrondNative DutchTurkishMoroccanSurinameseAntillean
Total
(population aged 12 to 64 yrs)
10.518.115.914.522.5
First generation22.522.419.228.6
Second generation 1)12.86.78.3
1) Too few observations for second generation with Antillean background.