At the end of last year, 1.4 million people, i.e. 12 percent of the population in the age category 15-64 received social assistance, unemployment (WW) or disability benefits.
Slightly more men than women
With nearly 13 percent, the proportion of benefit recipients was marginally higher for men than for women at the end of 2009. The increase in benefit recipients was also higher for men in 2009.
Share of 15 to 64-year-old benefit recipients by gender (at the end of the month)
The number of WW benefits increased more rapidly among men than among women. As men are more often employed in sectors which are easily affected by instabilities on the labour market, their risk of becoming unemployed is higher in times of economic hardship. On the other hand, women more often received social assistance benefits.
Most benefit recipients over the age of 55
The highest proportion of benefit recipients was recorded among over-55s. More than 22 percent of them received benefits by the end of 2009. The percentage of benefit recipients was considerably lower in the younger age categories, but the proportion of people receiving benefits rose in the age categories under 55, whereas the proportion of benefits hardly changed among over-55s.
Number of 15 to 64-year-old benefit recipients by age (at the end of the month)
The proportion of benefit recipients under the age of 35 had grown by a quarter at the end of 2009 relative to the end of 2008, mainly due to an increase in the number of WW benefits. The share of young WW benefit recipients doubled between December 2008 and December 2009.
Number of 15 to 64-year-old benefit recipients by ethnic background (at the end of the month)
Nearly one in five people with a non-western background receive benefits
At the end of last year, 21 percent of the population with a non-western background in the Netherlands received benefits. The rate is nearly twice as high as for the native Dutch population.
The growth in benefit recipients was about the same for both groups, but the types of benefits differ. In relative terms, the share of unemployment and social assistance benefits grew faster in the native Dutch population than in the population with a non-western background. The share of people receiving disability benefits in the native Dutch population dropped, whereas it remained stable in the population with a non-western background.