Fewer and fewer people in the Netherlands encounter disrespectful behaviour. Discourteous attitudes among shop staff and public employees in particular have decreased. Young people experience disrespectful behaviour more often than older people, and people living in cities more than those living in villages. But in these groups, too, disrespectful behaviour occurs less often than a few years ago.
Rude behaviour decreased most among shop staff and public employees
Nearly one quarter of the population aged 15 years and older say they had been treated disrespectfully by strangers on the street in 2011, and 15 percent on public transport. These percentages are lower than in 2008. The share of people who say they had been treated discourteously by shop or company staff fell by most, from 20 to 16 percent. Government employees, too, less often overstepped the mark of common decency: 12 percent of respondents reported disrespectful attitudes of public employees in 2011 compared with 15 percent in 2008. Rude behaviour by people closer to home, such as partners, relatives and friends, remained stable at 7 percent.
Young people encounter disrespectful behaviour more often than older people
Young people experience discourteous behaviour more often than older people. In 2011 nearly one in three young people said they had been treated rudely by strangers on the street. Among people aged over 55 this was one in six. On public transport, too, more young than older people experience this. Inappropriate attitudes from shop staff and company and public employees is encountered most by 25-54 year-olds. Young people and people in the age group 25-54 years encountered less and less rude behaviour between 2008 en 2011. The perception by older people has hardly changed in this respect.
Disrespectful behaviour by age, 2011
In cities: more disrespectful behaviour in public spaces in particular
People living in strongly urbanised areas experience more rude behaviour especially on the street and in public transport than people living in more rural areas. One in three city-dwellers, for example, encounter discourteous attitudes by strangers on the street. In rural areas this is fewer than one in five. Disrespectful behaviour closer to home is experienced by about the same percentages of people both within and outside city areas. In both urban and rural areas, disrespectful behaviour has diminished in recent years.
Disrespectful behaviour by degree of urbanisation, 2011