Are dissatisfied Dutch people allowed to be dissatisfied?

Are dissatisfied Dutch people allowed to be dissatisfied?

Dutch people have enough reasons to be content with their lives, but still a negative tone predominates the elections, according to the Financial Times. The business newspaper was wondering what Dutch people are complaining about and comes with some interesting data.

Data from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) shows that there are just a few countries which have richer, healthier and happier citizens than The Netherlands, writes the Financial Times.


People in the Netherlands score a 7.3 on satisfaction. That is really high, in comparison with other countries connected to OECD. Their citizens score a 6.5 on average. The Dutch’ satisfaction could be the logic result of the comfortable balance between work and spare time in the Netherlands. We spend more time outside our office, recreational and with family than every other OECD-country.


We’re also doing well in the area of employment. Almost 82 percent of our labor force (15-67) is working. In comparison: in Germany and France that is 68 respectively 67 percent. The youth (>25) is scoring good as well: two third is working, whereas the average in OECD-countries is less than half.

 “Our income is more evenly spread”

It boils down to the fact that Dutch people are rich, even if you measure it against the European standard. The gross domestic product per person is approximately 50.000 euro. That is 38 per cent higher than in Spain and Italy and 21 per cent more than the United Kingdom. Furthermore, our income is more evenly spread than in most other countries.

Temporary contracts

The question arises: what is the problem? Is everything as beautiful as it is shown above? That is not the case. The quality of our jobs appears to be declining. Since the crisis in 2008 there are a lot of temporary contracts and independent entrepreneurs. About 25 percent of the Dutch people has a temporary contract, approximately the double of the OECD-countries and four percent higher than before the crisis. Of the Dutch citizens under 25 more than half has a temporary contract.

“Dutch people are comparing with the Netherlands from ten years ago”

It’s no secret that the crisis has left its mark. The Dutch economy has received some serious hits. The national income was back at it’s normal height not until 2015. Also, the access to credit creates problems. Small and medium sized businesses are having a lot of trouble with getting a loan. In Europe, only in Greece it is harder to get a loan.


Are we become a spoiled nation that can only be dissatisfied? According to Cas Mudde, professor at University of Georgia, that is too simplistic. He says to the Financial Times that people in the Netherlands are not comparing themselves to Greece, but with the Netherlands ten year ago. Or even worse: what they think the Netherlands were like, ten years ago.


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