Job and language competence important factors for identification

02/09/2010 15:00

Command of the Dutch language is an important identification factor for people with a non-western background. Participation on the labour market is also conducive to identification with the Netherlands.

Being born in the Netherlands leads to higher level of identification

People with a non-western background born in the Netherlands feel Dutch approximately one and a half times as often as the first generation born outside the Netherlands. If one of the parents was also born in the Netherlands, second-generation non-westerners nearly always feel Dutch.

‘Feeling Dutch’ by generation, 2006

‘Feeling Dutch’ by generation, 2006

Surinamese most often feel Dutch

Four in five people with a Surinamese background feel Dutch, i.e. a larger proportion than among other people with a non-western background. With less than 50 percent, Turks are the least likely to identify with the Netherlands. Moroccans and Antilleans take up a position in between. Identification with the Netherlands is not gender-related.

'Feeling Dutch' by ethnic background and gender, 2006

'Feeling Dutch' by ethnic background and gender, 2006

Participation on the labour market conducive to feeling Dutch

Turks, Moroccans and Antilleans are more likely to identify with the Netherlands, if they are employed than if they are unemployed. For Surinamese, being employed or not seems to be irrelevant. Turks and Moroccans who are employed for a number of years, identify with the Netherlands about twice as often as those who have never had jobs.

‘Feeling Dutch' by ethnic background and position on the labour market in 2001-2005, 2006

‘Feeling Dutch' by ethnic background and position on the labour market in 2001-2005, 2006

Language competence even more important than work

People with a non-western background for whom it is easy to communicate in Dutch much more often feel Dutch than those who have communication problems. With respect to identification with the Netherlands, it does not seem to matter for people who are fluent in Dutch, whether they are employed or unemployed.

Rik van der Vliet