In 2004, the low income rate among households in the four largest cities in the Netherlands was 15 percent, as opposed to 9 percent nationwide. Poverty is relatively common in the four largest cities among single 45 to 64-year-olds, one-parent families and couples with under age children.
Amsterdam and Rotterdam have highest low income rate
In Amsterdam, 17 percent of households lived on low incomes. The rates for Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht were 16, 14 and 11 percent respectively.
Single 45 to 64-year-old women constitute a risk group
In all four cities, the highest proportion of low incomes was found among single 45 to 64-year-old women. In Rotterdam, nearly four in ten women in this age group lived on low incomes. The poverty risk for single 45 to 64-year-old men and couples with under age children was highest in Amsterdam. About half of Amsterdam couples on low incomes were self-employed.
Low income distribution among risk groups, 2004*
* provisional figure
Low-incomes fairly evenly spread across Amsterdam and Rotterdam
In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, low incomes are fairly evenly spread. In all municipal districts of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, more than one fifth of households with a non-western foreign background lived on low incomes. In The Hague and Utrecht, low incomes are more concentrated in certain areas.
Many poor people in The Hague have foreign background
The Hague is the only large city in the Netherlands where the proportion of low-income native Dutch households exceeded 20 percent. In Amsterdam and Rotterdam, it was 16 percent, in Utrecht 12 percent.
Main source of income of low-income households, 2004*
Different pattern in Utrecht
The pattern in Utrecht varies from the other three large cities in the Netherlands. Utrecht has a relatively high number of working people and the number of households depending on social security is relatively low. Moreover, the proportion of people with a non-western background in Utrecht is only half that in the other large cities.
Many benefit recipients in Rotterdam
In Rotterdam, 11 percent of households were living on social security benefits. Half of the low-income group were living on social security. In the other three large cities, the proportion of low incomes ranged between 35 and 40 percent.
Hendrika Lautenbach and Clemens Siermann