Six out of ten Dutch people live in a family

26/03/2001 10:00

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

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Older parents

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