Colour codes and notes to the dashboards in the Monitor of Well-being

The monitor uses colours to enable the results of the various indicators to be compared. For each indicator two aspects are illustrated: the medium-term trend (and trend direction) in the Netherlands in the 2014–2021 period and the Netherlands’ position in the EU27 in the most recent year with sufficient observations.

What do the colours mean?

For trends and the most recent annual changes the colours show the following:

Green: The indicator is moving in the direction associated with an increase in well-being.

Grey: No significant rise or fall in the indicator.

Red: The indicator is moving in the direction associated with a decrease in well-being.

For positions, the colours mean the following:

Green: The Netherlands is in the top quartile of the EU ranking.

Grey: The Netherlands is in the middle of the EU ranking.

Red: The Netherlands is in the bottom quartile of the EU ranking.

The colours are allocated only on the basis of the first-order effect. For example, in the first order, an increase in individual consumption is good for the consumer. In the second order, however, higher consumption may cause environmental pollution, obesity, water use and CO2 emissions in other countries, for example.

The colour code signals to the reader that he or she should take a close look at the phenomenon highlighted by the indicator, as there is clearly something of note. If an indicator shows a trend in the Netherlands, for example, that is moving in the direction associated with a decline in well-being, and the Netherlands’ position in Europe is in the lowest quartile, this is illustrated in the monitor as a ‘red’ trend and a ‘red’ position. In the case of a completely green indicator, something is clearly going well.

The colour codes serve only as signals and are expressly not normative interpretations. The monitor indicates where the Netherlands stands in terms of various aspects of well-being, showing the trade-offs that we face as a society. It is the task of political decision-makers and policy-makers to consider the issues and draw conclusions on policy. For some indicators provisional estimates have been made for 2021 specially for the monitor; these may be adjusted at a later stage.

Meaning of notes in the dashboards

  1. For the Monitor of Well-being, CBS has estimated an annual figure for the most recent year in order to facilitate the political debate. This is an preliminary provisional estimate.
  2. For this indicator, there are insufficient data for the 2014–2021 period to calculate a trend.
  3. The data quality is insufficient to determine a trend.
  4. Preliminary provisional results from the Dutch ecosystem accounts.
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