The nearly seven million households in the Netherlands can be divided into three similar sized groups: 2.3 million single people, 2.2 million couples without children and 2.4 million families. The latter category consists of 2.1 million families with two parents and nearly 400,000 one-parent families. In terms of numbers, the family accounts for the largest group of people: more than nine million people in the Netherlands, some sixty per cent of the population, live in a family today.
Most people make up part of a family when they are under twenty, and between 35 and 50 years of age; first as a child, later as a parent. However, some people stay with their parents at older ages, often with a reversal of the care role.
Phases of life
As young people increasingly delay parenthood, in the coming years more and more schoolchildren will have older parents. At the moment most secondary school pupils have a mother in her early forties. In ten years’ time many will have mothers nearing fifty, and fathers already in their fifties.
Jan Latten and Andries de Jong