Number of income support benefits continues to grow

28/02/2013 15:00
  • 325 thousand income support benefits by the end of 2012
  • 9 thousand more than twelve months ago
  • fewer benefits granted to young people
  • growth in four major Dutch cities relatively low

According to the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands, 325 thousand income support benefits were granted to people under the age of 65 by the end of December last year, i.e. an increase by 9 thousand relative to one year previously.

The number of income support benefits has risen by 66 thousand since early 2009. The annual increase over 2010 was 26 thousand, but the increase over 2011 and 2012 slowed down considerably. In both years, the number of income support benefits rose by 9 thousand.

Income support claimants over the age of 27 almost entirely account for last year’s increase. The number of benefits in this age category grew by 14 thousand. This can be expected in the face of the poor situation on the labour market; unemployment is rising while the number of jobs is declining.

In spite of rising unemployment, the number of income support benefits paid to people under the age of 27 has dropped by 5 thousand in 2012. This is partly due to government policy measures aiming to restrict the number of income support claimants, but the number of income support benefits granted to young people in the fourth quarter of 2012 has not decreased further.

The negative or positive growth in the number of income support benefits varies by municipality and ranges from an increase by 13 percent in the municipality of Breda to a decrease by 7 percent in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. The growth in the four major cities in the Netherlands is below the nationwide average of 3 percent. The number of income support benefits in Amsterdam was fairly stable over 2012.