Dutch people contented

How satisfied are Dutch people? Two main aspects of this question are their assessment of the society in which they live and of their own lives. In terms of marks out of ten, in 2002 84 percent of the population gave their satisfaction with the society at least six out of ten, and 88 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with their personal life.

Average marks out of 10 for society: 6.5

In 2002 84 percent of people aged 15 years and older were content with Dutch society. This is reflected in an average mark of 6.5 out of 10. There were hardly any differences in this score between young and old or between men and women. Neither did household composition seem to have an effect: couples with children are just as satisfied on average as single people and one-parent families.

Satisfaction was slightly higher as people had a higher education, rising from 6.3 for people with only primary education to 6.6 on average for people with vocational college or a university degree.

Satisfaction with life by educational level, 2002

Differences in satisfaction with personal life

When asked about their own lives, 43 percent reported being extraordinarily or very satisfied, 45 percent were satisfied, 9 percent fairly satisfied and 4 percent not very satisfied. The household composition was significant in this respect. Ninety-one percent of couples with children were satisfied to extraordinarily satisfied with life; for single people this was only 78 percent. For one parent families it was 71 percent.

Satisfaction with life by household composition, 2002

Satisfaction rises with educational level

More than half of people with a vocational college education or university degree were very or extraordinarily satisfied with their personal lives, compared with one third of people with lower secondary education or only primary education. There were hardly any differences between men and women. Young people aged between 15 and 17 were most satisfied; people aged over 75 were least contented with their situation.

Satisfaction with life by age, 2002

Hans Schmeets and Miriam van Baal

Source: StatLine (Dutch only)