Poverty in the Netherlands

Poverty in the Netherlands
Poverty in the Netherlands? Pockets of poverty still exist.

Around 2.5 million people in the Netherlands live below the poverty line. With a population of 17 million, that means around 14 percent or one in seven people lives below the poverty line.


Poverty in the Netherlands: Implications and Solutions


The poverty line for the Netherlands is drawn at approximately €1,040 a month for a single individual and up to €1,960 for a couple with two children. These figures calculate to $1,174 up to $2,213 and they are considered the bare minimum necessary to eat, live and partake in social activities in the Netherlands.

Some 217,000 Dutch households were found, in 2014, to have lived on or below the poverty line for at least four consecutive years, indicating a lack of support from the Netherland’s government to help its less fortunate citizens since the worldwide economic crash of 2008.

Those family units most likely to land below the poverty line in the Netherlands are single parents, singles over the age of 65, non-Western households and anyone living solely on social assistance benefits, all of whose poverty rates have risen dramatically since 2012.

To help single parents below the poverty line, the Dutch government affected the Child-Care Schemes Reform Act in 2015. The act provides income specifically for a child or children based on the parent’s income to help offset the considerable cost of rearing children. Netherland’s government will also award double the amount of financial aid to parents of severely disabled children who require round-the-clock care.

There is still much work to be done to help combat poverty in the Netherlands; organizations such as CARE and Cordaid work tirelessly to create employment opportunities and build thriving communities in the Netherlands. With their work and continued support from the government, poverty in the Netherlands will decrease in the years to come.

Bayley McComb

Photo: Flickr