Three times as many income support benefits in problem districts

Inhabitants in very urbanised neighbourhoods are one and a half times more likely to claim income support than people living in non-urban areas. The main reason for this is the large number of households claiming income support in neighbourhoods in the large cities.

In the recently designated problem districts there are three times as many income support claimants as on average in the Netherlands.

More benefit claimants in large cities

The number of benefits is unequally divided between urban and rural areas. In very urbanised neighbourhoods the share of benefit claimants was one and a half times as large (18 percent) as in the rural areas (13 percent).

The difference is caused by the number of income support benefits. The relative number of income support benefits rises from 15 per 1,000 households in non-urban areas to more than 70 per 1,000 households in very urbanised areas. The number of incapacity benefits and unemployment benefits is more or less equally distributed across the neighbourhoods.

Benefits by degree of urbanisation, 2005

Benefits by degree of urbanisation, 2005

This is also true in the forty problem districts recently designated by the Minister for Housing, Communities and Integration. These neighbourhoods are nearly all strongly  urbanised, and it is not unusual for one in ten households there to claim income support. On average one in twenty households in the Netherlands rely on income support. In the problem districts this proportion is three times as high.

In Utrecht, too, most income support in densely populated neighbourhoods

In Utrecht, income support claimants are concentrated in the densely populated outskirts bordering the city centre, with the exception of the western edge of the centre. The neighbourhoods in Utrecht designated as problem areas all have more income support claimants than average. This is also true for Kanaleneiland, with its relatively high population of people with a non-western foreign background, and Ondiep, which experienced recent violence problems.

Income support benefits in Utrecht

Income support benefits in Utrecht

Chantal Melser