Some 400 thousand people in the Netherlands give blood. This 4 percent of 18-69 year-olds, the age group that is permitted to give blood. People with a higher education are more likely to be blood donors than people with a low education. In addition, fewer smokers and heavy drinkers give blood, while moderately overweight people are more likely to be donors.
Number of donors stable in recent years
The number of blood donors has been quite stable since 2007, at around 400 thousand. Nearly just as many men as women give blood. Half of male donors are older than 50 years, while for women this is only one in three. In relative terms, most blood donors are found among men in the 50-59 year age group (7 percent).
Percentage of blood donors by sex and age, 2007/2009
Giving blood is apparently also more of an activity for the higher educated. More than 5 percent of them give blood compared with less than 1.5 percent of people with only primary education.
Percentage of blood donors by highest completed level of education, 2007/2009
Fewer donors among smokers and heavy drinkers
People who want to give blood undergo a medical check-up before their first donation. As a result of this selection, people with poor perceived health do not give blood. Moreover, smokers are less likely than non-smoker to give blood and the share of heavy drinkers who give blood is smaller than that of moderate drinkers. Moderately overweight people are more likely to give blood on the other hand (5 percent).
Percentage of blood donors by smoking behaviour and weight, 2007/2009
Jaap van den Berg en Frans Frenken