Young adults more negative about their own health

© Hollandse Hoogte
In 2023, 88 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 rated their health as good or very good. That was 91 percent in 2020. In recent years, they were less likely to rate their own health as very good and were more likely to say that it was ‘fine’. More young people have been suffering from mental health issues since 2021. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this in its National Youth Monitor, which is based on figures from the Health Survey.
In 2022 and 2023, 23 percent of young people aged 18 to 24 said they perceived their health to be very good. That was lower than before the coronavirus pandemic, when it hovered around 30 percent. Both young men and young women were less likely to rate their health as very good. Compared to previous years, men were more likely to say they perceived their health to be ‘good’, while women were more likely to say they were ‘fine’.

Experiencing personal health, 18 to 24-year-olds
jaarVery good (%)Good (%)Reasonable (%)Bad or very bad (%)

Vast majority of 12 to 17-year-olds perceived own health as (very) good

Young people aged 12 to 17 were more positive about their health than young adults. In 2023, 39 percent of them said their own health was very good overall. More than half of them (53 percent) rated their health as good. This share has been fairly stable since 2018.

Experiencing personal health, 12 to 17-year-olds
jaarVery good (%)Good (%)Reasonable (%)Bad or very bad (%)

Young people more likely to experience mental health issues

Among those aged 12-17 years and those aged 18-24 years, more were suffering from mental health issues than before the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021 in particular, the share of young people experiencing mental health issues rose, after which it did not return to the level of previous years. Among those aged 18 to 24, 24 percent of women and 14 percent of men were struggling with mental health issues in 2023. Among 12 to 17-year-olds, 13 percent of girls and 7 percent of boys were experiencing these problems.

Mental health issues (sum score MHI lower than 60)
jaarMen (18-24 yrs) (%)Women (18-24 yrs) (%)Boys (12-17 yrs) (%)Girls (12-17 yrs) (%)