Socialisation and participation in society

A greater proportion of people with a native Dutch background actively seek volunteer work than people with either a western or non-western migration background, and they are more likely to help people informally. Additionally, more second-generation migrants actively volunteer than migrants from the first generation. Differences in contact with family are less significant.

More frequent family contact among people with a native Dutch background

People with a native Dutch background are somewhat more likely to have weekly contact with their family members than are people with either a western or a non-western migration background. The study shows that, within the four large non-western groups, around 85 percent of people with a Surinamese, Moroccan, Turkish or Antillean background have weekly contact with family members and around 80 percent have weekly contact with friends. The proportion of people with other non-western backgrounds who have weekly contact with their family is lower (76 percent).

Weekly contact with relatives by background, 2012/2017
AchtergrondContact with relatives (% of persons aged 15 and over)
Native Dutch84.1
Other non-western75.8
Western, first-generation76.6
Non-western, first-generation81.3
Western, second-generation81.8
Non-western, second-generation82.6

People with a Moroccan background often help informally

Around a third of people with a native Dutch or Western background help someone informally at least once every four weeks. For this purpose, informal help is defined as unpaid help that is offered by an individual, without the intervention of an external organisation, to people outside that person’s own household. For people with a non-western background, this proportion is 27 percent. People with Turkish, Antillean or other non-western backgrounds offer informal help less often than people with Moroccan and Surinamese backgrounds.
The second generation offers informal help more often than the first generation. There is no difference between the western second generation and people with a native Dutch background.

Informal help provided by background, 2012/2017
AchtergrondInformal help (% of persons aged 15 and over)
Native Dutch34.8
Other non-western24.6
Western, first-generation28.3
Non-western, first-generation23.7
Western, second-generation34.9
Non-western, second-generation32

Surinamese background does least volunteer work

Volunteering brings people into contact with other people, which can create important social networks that promote social cohesion. This means that, in addition to its value to wider society, organised participation that is not related to someone’s work also serves a social function in that person’s milieu.
Almost half the population (49 percent) does volunteer work. People with a native Dutch background are more likely to volunteer than are people with an overseas background. This remains the case after correcting for age, level of education and sex.

Of the non-western groups, people with Moroccan and Antillean backgrounds do more active volunteer work than people with Turkish, Surinamese and other non-western backgrounds. 35 percent of people of Surinamese origin reported doing volunteer work; this is the lowest percentage among all the distinct origin groups. With a volunteering rate of 47 percent, the western second generation is the closest in frequency of volunteering to people with a native Dutch background.

Volunteering by background, 2012/2017
AchtergrondVolunteering (% of persons aged 15 and over)
Native Dutch51.4
Other non-western38.3
Western, first-generation37.1
Non-western, first-generation36.3
Non-western, second-generation40.8