Well-being ‘here and now’ refers to the present situation in the Netherlands. Personal characteristics and the quality of the environment people live in are basic aspects of this. It is a broad concept and we describe it here on the basis of eight themes: subjective well-being, material well-being, health, labour and leisure time, housing, society, safety and the environment.
For each theme, a dashboard shows the medium-term trend (2015-2022) and the Netherlands’ position in the EU. The text accompanying the dashboard highlights indicators with a green arrow (indicating an increase in well-being) or a red arrow (indicating a decrease in well-being), and explains the trends in the wider context of the indicators of the SDG agenda.
Labour and leisure time
Labour and leisure time
Distribution of well-being ‘here and now’
Resilience of well-being ‘here and now’
Regional distribution of well-being ‘here and now’Subjective well-being
Dutch relatively satisfied with life, but trust in institutions takes a tumble
How people perceive their well-being is an important aspect of well-being, because it ties in strongly with quality of life. Information about how satisfied people are with their lives gives reveals how they value their own lives, irrespective of objective measures like income or employment status.
Just over half the Dutch population (52.6 percent in 2022) feel they are largely in control of their own lives. The remainder are finding it harder to keep up with the world around them where increasing globalisation, wide-ranging use of technology and continuing flexibilization of the economy are setting the pace. Having said this, satisfaction with life is generally high in the Netherlands: in 2022 83.4 percent of the population rated their life with a score of 7 or more out of 10. The medium-term trend is neutral, although the size of the group with these high-end scores has decreased since 2019. The Netherlands occupies a high position within the EU rankings for both indicators of subjective well-being.
Satisfaction with life does differ if we take age, sex, education level, country of birth/origin into account. Sizeable differences were also observed between the aspects of life people are satisfied or not satisfied with. In 2021, 79 percent of employees were satisfied with their work and 77 percent were satisfied with their working conditions. The trends are rising and the Netherlands is among the EU frontrunners.
Satisfaction with education opportunities is also trending upwards, and was very high in 2022 at 83.4 percent. Satisfaction levels were also high for housing and the living environment (86.3 and 87.1 percent respectively), the amount of available leisure time (74.3 percent), and to a lesser extent for cultural events on offer (54 percent); trends were neutral for these four indicators. Trends pointing towards declining well-being were observed for perception of corruption, experienced traffic nuisance, noise nuisance caused by traffic and neighbours, mental health problems and work-related mental fatigue.
Another aspect of subjective well-being is how much Dutch people trust other people, and how much they trust various institutions and how these institutions operate. In terms of trust in other people, the police and the courts, percentages are high, trends are upward and the Netherlands is in the leader group of the EU. At 7.4 out of 10, trust in science is also substantial. Trust in the armed forces was 63.7 percent, a substantial drop from the 72.0 percent in 2021, and the trend turned from upward to neutral.
Around half the population have a ‘very high’ or ‘reasonably high’ level of trust in banks, the EU and municipal councils. The shares of the population who have a ‘very high’ or ‘reasonably high’ level of trust in the House of Representatives (30.4 percent), large businesses (35.8 percent), the press (39.8 percent) and civil servants (42.5 percent) are clearly much lower. Medium-terms trends for trust in civil servants and trust in the House Representatives have switched from rising to neutral.
More information on satisfaction and trust indicators can be found in the category ‘subjective assessment’ of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) dashboards.
Strong comeback for economy and consumption, but consumer confidence falling
Dutch per capita spending on consumer goods and services amounted to nearly 27 thousand euros in 2022 (in prices of 2015). The medium-term trend (2015-2022) is neutral. According to the first estimate of economic growth for 2022 (the estimate used for this monitor), the volume of individual consumption was up on 2019, the year preceding the coronavirus outbreak. Households use their disposable income to pay for goods and services, but many services people use are financed by the government (e.g. health care, education and social protection). This public spending does not include defence or general government, which do not benefit individuals directly. Median disposable income is trending upwards. The Netherlands ranks in the top group of the EU for both indicators.
The last measures in place to curb the spread of coronavirus were withdrawn in March 2022. At the end of February in that year, Russia invaded Ukraine and inflation soon started to rise. This did not stop households spending their money: consumer spending was an important driver of the Dutch economy in 2022, contributing to a 4.5 percent growth in GDP. Because the population also grew relatively strongly, GDP volume growth per capita was smaller: 3.5 percent. The medium-term trend is rising and the Netherlands ranks among the frontrunners in the EU. In spite of extremely high inflation and historically low consumer confidence, household consumption contributed to over half of economic growth. Households had more money to spend mainly because more people were in work and wages were higher. Net labour participation, the percentage of 15- to 74-year-olds who were in paid work, was higher than ever in 2022.
According to the capital and productivity indicators in the dashboards of SDG 8.1 Economy and factors of production and SDG 9.2 Sustainable business, the engine of the economy is in good shape. Trends in these two dashboards mostly point to increasing or stable well-being, with a red trend only for consumer confidence: this reached an all-time low (since measurements began in April 1986) of -59 in October 2022. This sombre sentiment may be a sign that consumers – who have saved a lot in recent years and, following a dip in 2020, had started spending generously again – will be pulling their purse strings a little tighter.
From the perspective of well-being and the SDG agenda, economic development should not lead to growth imbalance, unequal opportunities or social exclusion. SDGs 1 No poverty, 10.1 Social cohesion and inequality and 10.2 Financial sustainability are relevant in this respect. A considerable share of the population feel financially vulnerable. In 2022, 28.6 percent reported being very concerned about their financial future (up from 22.5 percent in 2021). The medium-term trend has turned from downward to neutral. The monitor describes developments and changes for the Dutch population as a whole; the situation may be different for specific sub-groups.
Many trends in the dashboard for SDG 1 No Poverty point to increasing or stable well-being, although it should be taken into account that hardly any results for 2022 are available for these indicators. In addition to median disposable income, average disposable income and median household wealth also show rising trends. The substantial increase in the value of own homes in recent years has been a key driver of increased wealth. However, not every form of wealth can be directly accessed by households when they hit financial difficulties.
The share of children in low-income households and the share of households in problem debt are both trending downwards, a favourable development in terms of well-being. The only SDG 1 indicator pointing towards lower well-being is the increase in relative poverty. The cost of living rose heftily in 2022, which is reflected in a trend reversal in the percentage of the population who are very concerned about their financial future. The medium-term trend was downward and is now neutral. Year-on-year, the percentage of people very concerned about their financial future rose by 6.1 percentage points from 2021, to 28.6 in 2022.
The inequality indicators in dashboard for SDG 10.1 Social cohesion and inequality are also relevant in this respect. They show that the Netherlands compares favourably with other EU countries in terms of income inequality. Moreover, this dashboard shows downward trends for the Gini coefficient of wealth inequality, the share of the vulnerable group of households with both low income and little wealth (5.3 percent of households in 2021), and for the risk of poverty of self-employed people (6.0 percent of self-employed people in 2021). Although these trends are all favourable from a well-being point of view, the absolute size of these groups may cause problems.
Obviously, social inequality is determined by more than just the distribution of income and assets. Aspects of social inequality and distribution are therefore relevant not only to the theme of Material well-being but also to the theme of Society.
Most Dutch people feel healthy, but more people reporting mental health problems
People who eat and drink too much and take too little exercise are at risk of becoming overweight. Obesity is an important lifestyle indicator, and in 2014 – for the first time – more than half the Dutch population aged 20 years and older (50.3 percent) had a Body Mass Index (BMI, ratio of height to weight) of at least 25.0 and were therefore officially overweight. By 2022, this had risen to 51,1 percent. The trend has switched from neutral to rising (red).
Healthy life expectancy at birth was 63.2 years for Dutch men and 62.3 years for Dutch women in 2022. The medium-term trend is stable but healthy life expectancy fell by two years from 2021 to 2022, to its lowest level this century. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by combining health data with mortality data. It adds a qualitative element to ‘ordinary’ life expectancy. Both Dutch men and women are in the EU middle groups. The data used for this international comparison are based on a slightly different definition of healthy life expectancy than data used to calculate the Dutch trend: for the international comparison the data refer to ‘disability-free life expectancy’.
SDG 2 Zero hunger contains a number of indicators on sustainable and heathy nutrition. The SDG 3 Good health and well-being dashboard shows that the Dutch have a healthier lifestyle than many other EU residents. The Netherlands was fifth in the rankings (in 2019) with a relatively low percentage of smokers and a relatively modest alcohol consumption rate. The percentage of smokers is not only low in EU terms, the trend is also downward.
Over three-quarters (77.2 percent) of the population described their own health as good or very good in 2022. This share is clearly smaller than in 2020 and 2021, and also smaller than in the years before that. This is surprising, because in 2020 and 2021 a large proportion of the population were positive about their health, possibly because of the coronavirus pandemic. Five percent of the population suffer from serious limitations in their day-to-day lives as a result of health problems. The medium-term trend is downward. In addition to physical health, the mental health of the population is also relevant for well-being. The share of the population without mental health problems has been falling for a number of years (red trend). In 2021 in particular, the second year of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a notable dip (-3.2 percentage points). In that year 84.9 percent of the population aged 12 years and older had a score of 60 or higher on the Mental Health Index. In 2022 this was even higher: 86.2 percent.
Two indicators used to measure the quality of the care system are the number of hours worked in care per capita and vaccination rates. Health workers worked an average 107 hours per capita in 2022, and the trend is rising. This increases resources and opportunities for people who need care. The MMR vaccination rate among two-year-olds was relatively low in 2022 (92.7 percent). This is below the WHO recommended norm of 95 percent, required to eradicate measles. The trend is downward.
The average hospital stay for clinical admissions was just 5.2 days, the shortest in the EU.
Labour and leisure time
Many people in work, but more work-related mental fatigue
This part of the dashboard paints an optimistic picture, with numerous green trends. Nowhere in the EU is labour participation as high as in the Netherlands. The share of the labour force in work (net labour participation) is rising and was 72.2 percent in 2022. Relatively few people were looking for work: unemployment is historically low at the moment (3.5 percent in 2022). The share of the population affected by long-term unemployment (unemployed for longer than one year) is also low, at 0.7 percent. Trends of both these unemployment indicators are falling and for both the situation in the Netherlands is favourable when compared with the rest of the EU.
In addition to availability of work, perceived work-life balance and satisfaction with various job aspects are important components of well-being ‘here and now’. Three-quarters of the population were satisfied or very satisfied in 2022 with the amount of free time they had. Job satisfaction is also high in the Netherlands: nearly four out of five employees were very satisfied in 2021. This is a large share compared with other EU countries.
The dashboard for SDG 8.2 Labour and leisure time contains additional indicators of workers’ perceptions. Notably in this respect, 7.5 percent of employees say they are unhappy with their work-life balance. Although this percentage is the lowest in the EU according to a 2016 survey, it should be taken into account that nowhere in the EU are average weekly working hours as low as in the Netherlands. Employees’ worries about keeping their job are gradually easing, partly due to the current tension on the labour market and low unemployment. The only unfavourable medium-term trend for SDG 8 is for mental fatigue caused by work. The percentage of workers experiencing work-related mental fatigue rose from 12.8 in 2015 (the first year of measurement) to 18.8 in 2022.
Information on time use is also important for well-being ‘here and now’, particularly in view of the trade-off between economic activity (work) and leisure time. Satisfaction with leisure time was high in the coronavirus period: 76.4 percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied in 2020 and 76.1 said so in 2021. In 2022 this percentage fell to 74.3, similar to the level measured in 2019.
Measures taken to limit contact between people during the pandemic reduced mobility substantially in 2020 and 2021. According to the Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis (KiM), time lost due to traffic congestion – which many people find annoying – fell by 67 percent in 2020 and 63 percent in 2021. No figures are yet available for 2022.
Satisfaction with commuting time rose considerably during the coronavirus pandemic. Many people worked from home, while others found that roads and public transport were much less busy than usual. This indicator is no longer included in the monitor, as the survey has been discontinued. Additional indicators on accessibility and mobility are presented in the dashboard for SDG 9.1 Infrastructure and mobility, while other indicators on how people spend their leisure time are included in the dashboard for SDG 10.1 Social cohesion and inequality.
Good education is crucial for well-being, both ‘here and now’ and – as a component of human capital – ‘later’. People with a good and suitable education find it easier to navigate the various stages of their lives, and to participate in society. Dutch people have relatively high education levels. The share of the population with a degree in higher education increased from 30.2 percent of 15- to 74-year-olds in 2015, the beginning of the trend period, to 36.6 percent in 2022. Although here we measure the contribution of education to well-being in terms of the proportion of the population with a higher education degree, this does not imply that other types of education, such as vocational training and craftsmanship, are not important. What is clear, however, is that people with higher levels of education generally achieve a higher level of well-being in many areas of society. See also the section on distribution of well-being.
The dashboard for SDG 4 Quality education further shows that participation in preschool education in the Netherlands is high (97.1 percent in 2022), the percentage of early school leavers is declining, and that one quarter of Dutch people aged 25 to 64 years had participated in some form of education or training in the four weeks prior to the survey. This puts the Netherlands among the leaders in the EU. Digital skills are very important for the future, and 78.9 percent of the population aged 16 to 74 years had at least basic computer skills in 2021. Also relevant in this respect: the trend for satisfaction with educational opportunities continues to rise: 83.4 percent of the population were satisfied with their educational opportunities in 2022. The current tension on the labour market may also be a factor in this respect, with employers giving their staff more opportunities to take part in education and training.
Satisfaction high, but affordability under pressure
Dutch households spent an average 23.9 percent of their disposable income on rent or mortgage in 2021, 1.6 percentage points more than in 2020. This percentage is high compared with other EU countries: the Netherlands ranked 23rd out of the 25 EU countries with available data in 2021. The Dutch are generally satisfied with their homes: 86.3 percent were satisfied or very satisfied in 2022. The medium-term trend is neutral. Satisfaction was 0.7 of a percentage point higher in 2022 than in the preceding year. In 2021 it had dropped sharply year-on-year (-1.9 percentage points). One reason for this may have been that people were confined to their homes more because of the coronavirus measures.
The dashboard for SDG 11.1 Housing contains more details about this theme. The housing stock increased by 1.0 percent to 8.1 million homes in 2022, bringing the number of available dwellings per thousand inhabitants to 456. The trend is rising, which indicates an increase in well-being. Nearly 86 percent of inhabitants have a home without major defects, and less than three percent say their home is too small. In terms of well-being this is all favourable. But there are tensions on the housing market: the housing stock is still not keeping pace with demand and there are growing concerns about the affordability of the limited number of available dwellings.
Indicators for the affordability of homes include price trends for rent and the costs of buying and owning a home. The trends for these indicators are red. People buying homes in the Netherlands are paying more than the asking price. The high ratio between the median selling price and the median asking price is a clear sign of the housing market tension. This ratio exceeded 1 for the first time in 2021 (1.06). In the first half of 2022 it continued to increase sharply, but in the second half of the year it fell back again. All in all, the average for 2022 was around the same as for 2021, but the trend is rising. In this respect a fourth indicator on affordability of housing also points towards declining well-being: the increasing mortgage debt of households.
Opposite the above-described deteriorations in affordability, there is a favourable trend for perceived housing costs. Seven percent of the population stated that their housing costs were a large burden, and this trend is falling. The percentage is not this low anywhere else in the EU. However, the monitor examines the medium term (2015-2022), and in 2022 the survey was conducted in the first half of the year, when – although energy prices had already started to rise – the increase was slower than in the second half of the year. Some households were also still paying tariffs under previously existing contracts. Therefore, the consequences of the energy crisis are not fully apparent in the 2022 data.
With regard to the quality of the living environment, the figures for SDG 11.2 Living environment show that Dutch people experience a lot of noise nuisance from neighbours and traffic compared with inhabitants of other EU countries, and the trend is rising. Living space per capita is becoming smaller. The 83 native breeding bird species characteristic of the urban environment are also having a hard time. Favourable developments can be seen for air quality, crime victims and social cohesion in neighbourhoods.
People continue to trust other people, but trust in institutions shows recent fall
What stands out for this theme is that the Netherlands is in the leading group in the EU for many indicators. By contrast, the trends show a more mixed picture. The dashboard starts with information about how the Dutch participate in society. Both contact with relatives, friends or neighbours and the extent of voluntary work show a declining, red, trend for the period 2015-2022. Time devoted to work sometimes conflicts with the free time people have in which they undertake other activities. In 2022, 7.5 percent of people in work said that work and home life were not in balance. This is lower than in all other EU countries, and may be partly explained by the fact that weekly working hours in the Netherlands are among the shortest in the EU (see SDG 8.2 Labour and leisure time).
Higher rates of social participation lead to people trusting each other and trusting important institutions, including the government, more. The trend in people’s trust in each other has been rising for a number of years. For their trust in institutions (police, courts and the House of Representatives), however, the trend has turned from rising to neutral. Trust in institutions increased substantially (by 6.4 percentage points) in 2020, the first year of coronavirus. In 2021 and 2022 it fell sharply, however, by 2.6 and 5.6 percentage points respectively. In 2022, 61.3 percent of the population had a high or reasonably high level of trust in the three institutions concerned. People’s trust in each other increased substantially in both years of the pandemic and remained at the same level in 2022 as in 2021. SDG 16.2 Institutions examines aspects of the various institutions in more detail.
Both well-being and the SDG agenda widely address reduction of wealth and income inequalities, social exclusion and unequal opportunities (SDG 1, SDG 10).
The overall picture the monitor describes does not apply to all groups in Dutch society. Analysis of the distribution of well-being among certain population groups shows which groups have levels of well-being above or below the average for the country. Many of the indicators for SDG 5 Gender equality, which concerns equal opportunities for and inclusion of women, are trending favourably: well-being is increasing across a broad front. The gender pay gap is closing, the share of women with a higher education degree is increasing, as are labour participation of women and the percentage of economically independent women. Over half of students in higher education (52.9 percent in 2021) are women.
But there are still major differences between men and women. The difference is narrowing – partly because more and more female employees have higher education levels – but women’s hourly pay was still 12.7 percent lower than that of men in 2022. Age, part-time hours, occupational level and management responsibilities account for part of the gap, but certainly not all of it. With regard to economic independence – net annual income from labour and/or self-employment of at least 70 percent of the statutory minimum wage – 66.3 percent of women in the Netherlands fulfilled this criterium in 2021, compared with 81.4 percent of men.
Like economic independence, net labour participation is increasing for both men and women, but in 2022 it was still almost 8.2 percentage points higher for men than for women. Women are also far from being equally represented: in 2022 they occupied 27.7 percent of management positions and 40.7 percent of parliamentary seats.
More natural space, but biodiversity and ecosystems under pressure
Only the trend for the total area of natural land managed within the Netherlands Nature Network (NNN) is increasing, while other trends in this theme remain neutral. Provincial governments have agreed to establish a total 80 thousand hectares of new natural space by the end of 2027.
Emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen deposition are putting pressure on nature and affecting our well-being. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has calculated new time series for nitrogen deposition, in which figures for recent years have been revised. The revised figures show that the area of natural land on which nitrogen exceeds the critical deposition value has decreased in the last 25 years, from three-quarters to less than two-thirds. The quality of inland bathing waters is good, with almost three-quarters rated as ‘excellent’. Nearly 14 percent of people in the Netherlands report problems with refuse and pollution or other environmental problems in their immediate vicinity. The medium-term trends are neutral.
Against the background of these neutral trends for the environment ‘here and now’, it should be noted that the picture from the well-being ‘later’ perspective is less rosy. Environment-related indicators in the dashboard for the theme Natural capital (well-being ‘later’) explicitly point towards a deterioration in well-being, just as the biodiversity indicators in the dashboard for SDG 15 Life on land.
Distribution of well-being ‘here and now’
As we have seen, well-being ‘here and now’ is developing fairly positively in the Netherlands. Trends are generally neutral, some even point towards increasing well-being, and the Netherlands ranks high in the EU for many indicators. These overall national figures may nevertheless conceal important underlying differences.
To understand more about these differences, we analysed the distribution of well-being among various population groups in the Netherlands. In the analysis, we looked at 13 well-being indicators, to see how they were distributed across groups based on sex, age, education level and origin/country of birth. In addition, we looked at whether favourable or unfavourable outcomes accumulate for certain individuals, and if so: which groups these individuals belong to. The analysis shows that well-being in the Netherlands is not evenly distributed.
Origin/country of birth
The largest differences were found between groups with different levels of education, those with different country of birth/origin, and to a lesser extent between different age groups. People with lower and medium education levels have a lower level of well-being than those with higher education. People born outside the Netherlands, or whose parents – one or both – were born outside the Netherlands have lower levels of well-being than people born in the Netherlands and whose parents were also born in the country. Well-being of people aged 25 to 34 years is below average, while for 45 to 64-year-olds it is relatively high. There are hardly any differences between men and women.
Favourable and unfavourable outcomes sometimes accumulate at the individual level. Favourable outcomes accumulate more for people with higher than for people with lower education levels. Unfavourable outcomes are more likely to accumulate for people with lower education levels. Additional large differences in accumulation can be observed by country of birth/origin and age group.
Generally speaking, the distribution of well-being has not changed much from 2019. However, in relative terms younger groups now show a slightly lower level of well-being, just as those with medium education levels. On the other hand, 65- to 74-year-olds and people born in the Netherlands but of whom one or both parents were born outside Europe often scored more favourably. For the latter group it should be mentioned that – in spite of the positive developments – they still accumulate a lot of unfavourable outcomes.
At the individual level, fewer people accumulated favourable or unfavourable outcomes in 2022 than in 2019. The middle group expanded. The share with accumulated favourable outcomes fell substantially among the under-35s. The same is true for people who born in the Netherlands but with at least one parent born outside Europe; this is surprising because at group level the recent developments were relatively favourable.
Highest completed level of education
Origin/country of birth
Resilience and well-being ‘here and now’
Dutch society has had to contend with a number of severe shocks in recent years: the coronavirus pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the rapid rise in the cost of living. The monitor therefore also addresses whether certain vulnerable groups in the population may be particularly at risk in the event of such shocks. How resilient is Dutch well-being ‘here and now’?
In recent years, the Dutch government has put measures in place to alleviate the effects of these shocks for vulnerable groups. Coronavirus support packages for businesses, for example, and measures to help families, businesses and institutions get through the energy crisis have put a lot of extra pressure on the government’s budget.
So how resilient is Dutch well-being? To answer this question, we use indicators for the livelihood of households and the size of vulnerable groups. The theme ‘livelihood of households’ measures the extent to which – on average – households have the resources to absorb a shock. To establish this, we use median wealth, savings at banks in the Netherlands, the extent to which people are in control of their own lives, their perception of their own health, and the gross labour participation rate. For the ‘size of vulnerable groups’, we look specifically at certain groups who would be the first to be affected in the event of a shock: people with lower education, unemployed people, self-employed people at risk of poverty, people with low incomes and little wealth, and people with long-term limitations due to health problems.
The picture is reasonably positive: trends for eight of the ten measured indicators (based on available data for 2015-2022) show a rise in well-being. The other two indicators (perceived control of own life and self-perceived health) point to stable well-being. This indicates an improvement in households’ ability to maintain their livelihood in the event of a shock. Furthermore, the Netherlands is high in the EU rankings for five of the six indicators for which international comparison is possible. The only exception is the share of people with a lower education level, where the Netherlands is in the middle group.
Some aspects of resilience of well-being ‘here and now’ have also improved in the most recent year measured. Between 2021 and 2022, households’ savings at Dutch banks rose by 4.9 percent and the lower educated population decreased by 0.4 of a percentage point. The percentage of the population who describe their own health as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ did fall year-on-year, however (-3.3 percentage points).
Although the distinguished vulnerable groups are becoming smaller, which is a positive sign, the size of these groups may still constitute a problem. Consumer surveys of sentiments about and expectations for the coming twelve months reveal that the group of consumers who said their own financial situation is deteriorating was 17 percentage points higher in 2022 than in 2021. The group who were having to withdraw savings to get by had risen by 5 percentage points, and the group who thought they would be able to save money on a regular basis fell by 8 percentage points year-on-year.
Regional distribution of well-being
Lastly, we can assess how well-being ‘here and now’ has developed regionally. CBS has been measuring regional well-being since 2020. The regional Monitor of Well-being is compiled at the request of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. It presents a broad picture of well-being ‘here and now’ and ‘later’ in municipalities, provinces and local regions based on 42 indicators. Together these indicators give a picture of regional well-being and quality of life.
From a regional perspective, well-being ‘here and now’ is showing positive developments on many aspects. Trends for most of the indicators have improved or remain stable. Many Dutch municipalities recorded positive developments for material well-being, labour and leisure time, and safety. In the theme housing, satisfaction was lower in many municipalities, mainly because distances to amenities had increased. The amount of natural area per capita is also deceasing in many regions. More favourably, the distance to public green space is becoming shorter, and emissions of particulate matter and greenhouse gases are decreasing.
In the urbanised ‘Randstad’ area in the west of the Netherlands, the high level of well-being ‘here and now’ is accompanied by a lower level for well-being ‘later’. The more urbanised a municipality is, the more indicators it will have at the bottom of the well-being rankings, both for ‘here and now’ and ‘later’. Municipalities in Groningen province are relatively most often found at the bottom of the well-being ‘here and now’ rankings, just as municipalities in the provinces Flevoland, Limburg and Drenthe. Municipalities with relatively low levels of well-being ‘later’ are mainly located in the provinces South-Holland and North-Holland.