This analysis of how well-being is distributed across certain groups in the Dutch population shows both the situation in 2022 (2021 for income, wealth and crime victim rate) and changes in the situation for the various groups since 2019. The situation is described in terms of 13 indicators for population groups by sex, age, education level and origin/country of birth. The analysis also looks into whether favourable and unfavourable outcomes accumulate for certain individuals, and if so: what the characteristics of these individuals are.
The figure below provides a single overview of the distribution of well-being in 2022 (2021 for income, wealth and crime victim rate) and relative developments since 2019. Go to Indicators to get more details for developments in each indicator.
Origin/country of birth
Summary of the results
The 13 selected indicators show that well-being correlates strongly with origin/country of birth, education level, and to a lesser extent age.
- Sex: Differences between men and women are small. Four indicators show a more favourable situation for men than for women, and three aspects of well-being show the opposite.
- When the relations between sex on the one hand and age, education level and origin/country of birth on the other are taken into account (the multivariate analysis), the above pattern does not change much. One indicator shows a statistically significant difference that was not present before, in favour of men.
- Age: People in the youngest age groups (younger than 25 and 25 to 34 years) relatively often appear to be in an unfavourable situation. Age groups from 45 to 64 years show many favourable outcomes; seven, compared with three unfavourable.
- This picture shifts somewhat after taking into account the relations between age on the one hand and sex, education level and origin/country of birth on the other. After correcting for these effects, the situation for the age group younger than 25 years in particular improves. For the over-75s, too, the situation becomes more favourable. For 35- to 44-year-olds there are three unfavourable shifts, for 45- to 54-year-olds there are two. For the group aged 25 to 34 years, for whom the uncorrected situation was already unfavourable, it becomes more so, making it the least favourable by far after correction.
- Education level: just as in previous editions of the monitor, major differences between education levels are visible. People with low and – to a lesser extent – medium education levels have more unfavourable than favourable outcomes. Those with high education levels have hardly any unfavourable outcomes. For nine of the 13 indicators outcomes for higher educated people are favourable.
- When the relations between education level on the one hand and sex, age, and origin/country of birth on the other are taken into account, this picture is reinforced. The pattern for people with lower education levels becomes even more unfavourable, that for higher educated people even more favourable. For those with medium education levels, the picture is less unfavourable.
- Origin/country of birth: the pattern that emerges on the basis of the new classification of origin/country of birth is familiar from previous editions of the monitor. For people born in the Netherlands and whose parents were also born in the Netherlands (a group that largely overlaps the group ‘native Dutch background’ in the previously used classification according to ‘migration background’), the picture is very positive: eleven favourable outcomes, alongside two neutral and one unfavourable. For groups born in the Netherlands but of whom one or both parents were born elsewhere, the picture is much more sombre, and this is even more so for groups who themselves were born abroad.
- The situation hardly changes at all when the relations between origin/country of birth and sex, age, and education level are taken into account. What is surprising is that the favourable outcome on the indicator labour participation for the groups ‘born in the Netherlands with one/both parent(s) born outside Europe’ and ‘born in Europe (excl. the Netherlands)’ not only disappears, but even reverses into an unfavourable outcome. One reason for this is that these groups are made up of relatively many people in age groups which have high labour participation rates.
Indicators: changes between 2019 and 2022
Looking at the population as a whole, most of the 13 indicators show changes in 2022 from 2019. For each indicator, we examined whether the change for each population group was more favourable or unfavourable than the average change for the population as a whole. The most notable developments were:
- Sex: the only change more favourable for men than for women was for voluntary work.
- Age: we observed more relatively unfavourable than favourable developments in the younger groups (up to 44 years). This means well-being decreased slightly in these groups. The group aged 65 to 74 years showed relatively favourable changes from 2019, on the other hand.
- Education level: favourable and unfavourable developments were roughly in balance here. For people with medium levels of education the picture was a little negative, with two relatively favourable versus four relatively unfavourable developments.
- Origin/country of birth: here too, relatively favourable and unfavourable changes were roughly even. The position of people born in the Netherlands with at least one parent born outside Europe moved in a positive direction, however, with three indicators showing relatively favourable changes, compared with one showing an unfavourable change
Even where no significant relatively favourable/unfavourable developments are observed, a figure may have changed since 2019. This applies both to the total figures and the figures for each group. The detailed figures by reporting year, by indicator and by population group are available in the Distribution data table.
Accumulation: situation in 2022
The accumulation analysis looks at how favourable and unfavourable outcomes, from the perspective of well-being, accumulated individually for the same persons, and what the characteristics of these persons are. Nine indicators are included in the analysis. The top end of the distribution – the group with favourable well-being on seven or more indicators – consists of 22.7 percent of the adult population. The lower end – people with three or more unfavourable outcomes – comprises 18.6 percent of the population.
Highest completed level of education
Origin/country of birth
We established the following differences in the four population groups:
- Sex: there is a limited difference between men and women in the accumulation of favourable outcomes. Men are slightly more likely to be at the top end of the distribution.
- Age: people aged 45 to 64 years are relatively likely to accumulate favourable outcomes, while the over-65s are relatively likely not to. The group aged 65 to 74 years most often experience an accumulation of unfavourable outcomes.
- Education level: major differences can be seen here. Accumulations of favourable outcomes are very common among people with higher levels of education. Accumulations of unfavourable outcomes occur frequently among lower education levels.
- Origin/country of birth: here, too, differences are quite large. People originating from outside Europe are relatively often at the lower end of the distribution, and not often in the top end. This is most strongly the case for the group who were themselves born outside Europe. The picture is slightly less negative – but still below average – for groups originating from Europe. People born in the Netherlands whose parents were also both born there show relatively large accumulations of favourable and small accumulations of unfavourable outcomes.
If we take the correlations between sex, age, education level and origin/country of birth into account, education level turns out to have the greatest influence on the number of indicators for which people have a favourable or unfavourable outcome. This is followed by origin/country of birth and age, where origin/country of birth is more closely associated with the number of unfavourable indicators, and age with the number of favourable indicators. Sex is the least important factor.
Accumulation: changes compared with 2019
Compared with 2019, the group at the top of the distribution was somewhat smaller in 2022. But so was the group at the bottom. This means the middle group has increased in size: these are the people for which no accumulation of favourable or unfavourable outcomes is evident. If we look at the various population groups, we notice that:
- The share of young people (aged up to 35 years) with accumulated favourable outcomes has decreased by more than average, while the proportion of 45- to 74-year-olds at the bottom of the distribution has also decreased strongly.
- Relatively fewer people with medium and high education levels accumulate favourable outcomes, and the size of middle group has increased sizeably. As there are fewer changes for the group with lower education levels, the difference between this group and those with medium and higher levels of education has become smaller. However, the lower educated group is still a considerable distance behind the other two groups.
- A substantial shift is evident for the group of people born in the Netherlands of whom one or both parents were born outside Europe: the share with accumulated favourable outcomes has dropped sharply, while the share with no accumulation (the middle group) has increased strongly. For people who themselves were born outside Europe, the middle group also accounted for a considerably larger share in 2022 than in 2019, as both the share with accumulated favourable outcomes and the share with accumulated unfavourable outcomes decreased relatively strongly.