Edition 2022

Foto omschrijving: On the Wadden Sea island of Ameland, a resident waters the plants in the front garden of her traditional home.

Are people happy with the house they live in?

In 2021, almost 86 percent of households said they were happy to very happy with the house they live in. Almost all people in owner-occupied homes (95 percent) are satisfied with their housing. Tenants are happy less often, at 72 percent. Older people are more likely to be satisfied with their homes than younger people, especially if they rent.

55 tot 6595%68%65 tot 7596%80%75 jaar of ouder97%88%Jonger dan 35 jaar93%69%35 tot 4593%65%45 tot 5555 to 64 yrs65 to 74 yrs75 yrs and overUnder 35 yrs35 to 44 yrs45 to 54 yrs93%64%Zijn we tevreden over onze woning?TenantsOwnersHuurdersKopersAre people happy with the house they live in?

The figures are taken from the three-yearly Netherlands’ Housing Survey (WoON).noot1 While the level of housing satisfaction was slightly higher than in 2018 (85 percent), it was slightly lower than in 2009 when 90 percent said they were happy to very happy with the house they live in. Satisfaction declined especially among households in rental property. In 2009, 81 percent of tenants were happy to very happy with their housing situation, against 72 percent in 2021.

Housing satisfaction (% of households)
Jaar Total Owner Tenant
2002 89.2 96.9 80.0
2006 89.7 96.8 80.8
2009 90.0 96.5 80.6
2012 89.0 94.9 80.3
2015 86.9 93.8 76.9
2018 84.6 93.4 71.4
2021 85.6 94.6 72.3

Older people happier than young people

Older people are generally more satisfied with their housing than younger people. Among tenants in particular, the difference in terms of satisfaction is significant. Among households with a household headnoot2 aged 75 or over, an average of 93 percent are happy to very happy with the house they live in, while among households aged up to 34, the percentage is 79 percent. They are also more often tenant than owner. Particularly older tenants are more often satisfied with the house they live in than younger tenants. Indeed, at 88 percent, tenants in the highest age group are more satisfied than average.

Housing satisfaction by age of household head, 2021 (% of households)
Type Under 35 yrs 35-44 yrs 45-54 yrs 55-64 yrs 65-74 yrs 75 yrs and over
Total 78.6 83.2 84.4 86.6 89.6 92.6
Owner 93.1 93.2 93.2 95.2 96.1 97.2
Tenant 69.4 64.7 63.5 68.3 79.5 87.9

Young tenants and owners faced with relatively high housing costs

The housing ratio, the total housing cost as a percentage of the disposable income, averaged 36 percent for tenants in 2021. At an average of 23 percent, homeowners spent a smaller portion of their disposable income on housing.

Young households bear relatively higher housing costs than older households, especially if they are tenants. Tenants with a household head under 35 pay an average of over 41 percent of their income in housing costs, which is even higher if they rent from private landlords (over 45 percent). The household ratio is considerably lower for tenants between the ages of 35 and 54, at an average of almost 33 percent.

Average housing ratio1), by age of household head, 2021 (% of disposable income)
Type Under 35 yrs 35-44 yrs 45-54 yrs 55-64 yrs 65-74 yrs 75 yrs and over
Homeowners 26.4 25.0 23.2 21.9 21.7 23.9
Corporate housing tenants 37.2 31.0 31.1 34.6 33.0 34.8
Private tenants 45.1 36.1 38.6 38.5 39.4 44.4
1)Total housing cost as a percentage of disposable income

The questions


Head of the household

The Netherlands’ Housing Survey (WoON) has established the core members of each household. If there is one core member, for example in a single-parent family, that member is then considered to be the head of the household. In couples, where there are two core members, the household head is the (oldest) man or else the oldest woman. The head of the household’s age determines the age of the household.


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Concept & image editor

Irene van Kuik


Hendrik Zuidhoek

Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie


Gert Jan Wijma

Karolien van Wijk

Michel van Kooten

Paul de Winden

Ronald van der Bie

Sidney Vergouw



Gabriëlle de Vet

Frans Dinnissen

Final editor

Elma Wobma

We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in numbers.