More households finding it hard to make ends meet

03/05/2004 10:00

In 2002 one in ten households in the Netherlands reported that they found it difficult to make ends meet. This was the first time since 1996 that the number rose. Single people and especially one-parent families have the most difficulty making ends meet. However, the Netherlands has a relatively favourable position in this respect within the European union.

More households experiencing financial difficulties

In 2002 10 percent of Dutch households said they found it difficult to get by on their income. This is the equivalent of nearly 700 thousand households. In the period 1996-2001 the percentage of households who said they had money worries fell steadily. This was connected with the favourable economic developments in that period. In 2002 the percentage of households that had problems was 2 percent points higher than in 2001. The percentage of households that said they could easily manage on their income fell from 54 to 52.

Households with and without financial difficulties

Households with and without financial difficulties

Hefty rise in perceived minimum required income

The amount households say they at least need to get by on rose by nearly 18 percent in the period 1995-2002. The average minimum household income needed rose from 10.8 thousand euro in 1995 to 12.7 thousand euro in 2002. On average people say that they need at least 70 percent of their net income to get by.

Financial difficulties by household type, 2002

Financial difficulties by household type, 2002

One-parent families have most problems

The percentages of households reporting money problems differed between the types of households. Childless couples found it easiest to get by on their income. Single people and especially one-parent families on the other hand, had relatively many problems making ends meet. One third of one-parent families, for example had problems in 2002. This is partly because these households have a lower income on average. But they often also have less capital to fall back on.

Households with and without financial difficulties, Europe, 2001

Households with and without financial difficulties, Europe, 2001

Favourable position within the European Union

Within the European Union, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were the countries with the lowest percentage of households reporting they cannot get by on their income. Luxembourg and the Netherlands also had the highest percentages of households who said they found it easy to make ends meet. Households in Portugal and Greece had the least rosy financial situation overall.

Hendrika Lautenbach

Source: StatLine (Dutch only)