Figures - Well-being
The Dutch are generally very happy people. Almost 9 in 10 adults say they are happy. A slightly smaller group are satisfied with life in general. Both shares have remained stable in recent years.
Due to a change in research methodology, figures over 2012–2016 are not entirely comparable with figures over 1997–2010.
Almost 88 percent of the adult population say they are satisfied with their housing situation. The neighbourhood is rated positively by a slightly smaller share. Lower satisfaction levels are seen when it comes to people’s physical health, their financial situation and the amount of free time they have available.
As for job satisfaction, people who were asked this question worked at least 12 hours a week. Those working less than 12 hours per week or not in paid employment were asked about their level of satisfaction with daily activities.
People with higher incomes tend to be more satisfied with their financial situation than those on lower incomes. Among people in the lowest income quartile, slightly less than half are happy about their financial situation; this satisfaction level has not risen over the past few years, either. By contrast, the share of people in the higher income groups who are happy about their financial situation has increased. In the highest income group, 9 in 10 people are satisfied with their financial situation.
There is a relation between obesity and health situation. Severely obese people are least likely to be satisfied with their own health, while those with a healthy body weight are most positive about their health situation. Underweight people are slightly more positive about their health than those who are moderately overweight.
The relation between body weight and well-being is less distinct. People with a healthy body weight report the highest well-being while the lowest well-being is felt among those who are underweight. The differences in psychological well-being are not very large, however.
Personal well-being increases as the educational attainment level gets higher: over 70 percent of people with a higher education level also have high personal well-being, versus less than half of the lower educated.
Personal well-being is captured in a single figure which summarises eight different aspects of well-being, including health, material wealth, social relations and safety feelings.
The higher the level of education, the more trust people have in their fellow citizens. The level of social trust among the highly educated (i.e. those with a professional or academic Master’s degree) stood at 85 percent. Among people with only basic education, the level is not even 40 percent.