Microwave secures a place in Dutch kitchens

Household appliances which save people time and work are becoming more and more popular in Dutch households. The presence of microwave ovens in Dutch kitchens showed the strongest increase. Tumble dryers and dishwashers follow at a distance. The increased popularity of these items was partly prompted by lower prices.

Microwave much more popular

By 2001 nearly 80 percent of households in the Netherlands owned a microwave oven. This rate had increased by an average 5 percent points per year in the previous fifteen years.

More than half of households have a tumble dryer

In 2001 55 percent of all households had a tumble dryer and 95 percent had van a washing machine. Ownership of tumble dryers doubled every ten years. In 1981 only 13 percent of households had a drier. By 1991 this had increased to 27 percent, and in 2001 to 55 percent.

Ownership of some household appliances, 1981-2001

Four times as many households have a dishwasher

Initially, the presence of dishwashers in Dutch kitchens did not increase much. Both in 1981 an in 1991 one in ten Dutch households had a dishwasher. After that, though, the rate increased sharply and by 2001 more than four out of every ten households had a dishwasher.

Prices lower on average

Microwave ovens, tumble dryers and dishwashers have become cheaper and cheaper in recent years. The average price of a microwave for example fell by more than a quarter between 1990 and 2001, while dishwashers and tumble driers became 13 percent cheaper.

More appliances in two-earner households

Microwave ovens tumble driers and dishwashers save people work. This is especially convenient in families where members have little time to do household chores, for example, if both partners have a paid job. Two-earner families with children are most likely to have these appliances. In 2001 nearly three-quarters of families with two working partners and children had a dishwasher. This was 17 percent points more than families with two-earners but no children.

Ownership of dishwasher by number of working partners, 2001

Families where no-one is in work or one partner has a paid job are more likely have a dishwasher if they have children in the house. The same is true for tumble dryers, and to a lesser extent for microwave ovens.

Ger Linden