Growing confidence in fellow men

12/01/2012 15:00

The majority of the Dutch population trust their fellow citizens, politics, the police and the legal system. Confidence has grown over the period 2002-2010. Within Europe, social, political and institutional confidence is highest in the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries.

People trust politics much more than they used to

In 2010, 67 percent in the Dutch population stated they trust their fellow citizens versus 58 percent in 2002. Trust has steadily grown in this period.

Confidence in the various institutions and organisations has grown considerably since 2002, i.e. confidence in the legal system, the police and politics and more specifically in politicians and political parties. Just over half of the Dutch population indicated in 2010 to have confidence in these political institutions. Unlike trust in their fellow men, political trust has not grown further since 2008.

Trust in fellow men and various institutions and organisations, persons aged 15 and older

Trust in fellow men and various institutions and organisations, persons aged 15 and older

Netherlands on top of European list together with Scandinavian countries

With two in every three Dutch having confidence in their fellow citizens, the Netherlands takes up a leading position in Europe. With respect to confidence in their fellow citizens, only the Scandinavian countries score higher, but in neighbouring countries Germany and Belgium confidence is lower. For example, 35 percent of Germans and 43 percent of Belgians trust their fellow citizens. In Eastern Europe - but also in Portugal - the percentages are even lower.

Trust in fellow men, persons aged 15 and older, 2010

Trust in fellow men, persons aged 15 and older, 2010

The Netherlands, together with the Scandinavian countries, also occupies a prominent position regarding confidence in politicians and political institutions like the national and European parliaments. A tiny majority in the Dutch population trust their own politicians: in no other country, confidence in politicians is higher than in the Netherlands. Relative to other European countries, the Netherlands also scores high when it comes to confidence in the legal system and the police.

Hans Schmeets and Rik Linssen