Rude behaviour mainly experienced by young women

© Hollandse Hoogte
In 2017, disrespectful behaviour was encountered relatively most often by women between the ages of 18 and 24 years; 33 percent experienced such behaviour on the street and 22 percent did so in public transport. When looking at all Dutch residents aged 15 years and over, these shares were 20 and 13 percent respectively. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports these results based on the CBS Safety Monitor. For this monitor, survey respondents were asked about their experiences with behaviour which they perceived as disrespectful.


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Men aged 18 to 24 years are less likely to encounter uncivil behaviour than women in the same age group, but do so more than average. In 2017, 26 percent encountered rude behaviour on the street and 18 percent experienced a lack of common decency on the bus, train or tram. A factor that plays a role here is that young people are out on the street and travel by public transport more often. Girls aged 15 to 17 years also experience nuisance in the street and in public transport more than average, as opposed to boys of the same age.

Occasionally experienced disrespectful behaviour, 2017
 By strangers on the street (%)By strangers in public transport (%)
15 yrs or older20.112.9
15 to 17 yrs
18 to 24 yrs
25 to 44 yrs25.616.3
45 to 64 yrs18.912
65 yrs or older9.86

More disrespectful behaviour in cities

Young people living in the city are more likely to indicate that they experience disrespectful behaviour on the street and in public transport than those living in rural areas. In highly urbanised areas, 33 percent of young people between ages 15 and 24 experience uncivil behaviour on the street (in public transport: 20 percent), versus 18 percent in non-urban areas (in public transport: 13 percent).

Occasionally experienced disrespectful behaviour, 2017
 By strangers on the street (% of 15 to 24-year-olds)By strangers in public transport (% of 15 to 24-year-olds)
Very highly urbanised area33.320.2
Highly urbanised area30.621.4
Moderately urbanised area23.715.5
Less urbanised area19.414.4
Non-urban area17.612.8

Less disrespectful behaviour than five years ago

The share of young people with unpleasant experiences on the street and in public transport has decreased relative to 2012, when still 30 percent of 15 to 24-year-olds were dealing with disrespectful behaviour on the street. In 2017, this percentage had dropped to 27 percent. In public transport, the share fell from 22 to 18 percent.