Number of households at risk of poverty in the Netherlands relatively low

The number of households facing financial constraints is relatively low in the Netherlands compared to most other European countries. The number of households, who only just manage financially, is also relatively low.

78 million EU residents at risk

In 2007, 78 million people, i.e. 16 percent of the entire population of the European Union (EU) were at risk of poverty. Their incomes were below the poverty threshold.
With 10 percent, the percentage of people living below the poverty threshold was lowest in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. In the EU 15, Spain, Italy and Greece had the highest percentage of people at risk of poverty (20 percent). The risk of poverty among the new member states, which joined the EU on 1 May 2004 is highest in the Baltic states.

Persons at risk of poverty, 2007

Persons at risk of poverty, 2007

One in nine Dutch households barely manage to get by

One in nine households in the Netherlands find it difficult to live on their disposable income. The ratio was only lower in Luxembourg and the Scandinavian member states. Many households in countries which recently joined the EU are in deep water financially. The proportion of households facing financial problems was on average nearly twice as high as in the old member states. In the Czech Republic, more than one quarter of households were struggling to survive.

Proportion of households facing (severe) financial problems, 2007

Proportion of households facing (severe) financial problems, 2007

Financial constraints predominantly in new member states

A large number of households are facing financial constraints and are forced to adjust their spending pattern and postpone or abandon certain household expenses. In the Netherlands, 2 percent of households could not afford a hot meal every day. For one in six households, an annual holiday was beyond their financial scope.

Financial constraints are felt most acutely in the new member states. One quarter of households could not afford a hot meal with meat, chicken or fish and nearly six in ten households could not afford a week’s holiday once a year. 

Households facing financial constraints,  2007

Households facing financial constraints,  2007

Bart Huynen

Source: Eurostat