Society - Figures
The Dutch are mostly happy people. In 2018, nearly 9 in 10 adults said they were happy. A slightly smaller share (85 percent) say they are satisfied with life. Both happiness and satisfaction levels have been virtually stable since 1997.
Life satisfaction extends to different areas of life. For example, 87 and 86 percent of adults are satisfied with their house and their neighbourhood, respectively, and 69 percent are satisfied with their physical health condition; slightly lower satisfaction levels are also seen in the areas of available free time and personal finances compared to overall life satisfaction.
People who are overweight tend to be less satisfied with their phsyical health condition. Among overweight adults, 62 percent are satisfied against 77 percent of those who are not overweight. Satisfaction levels with mental health do not show any differences in terms of body weight.
Life satisfaction is also related to people’s opinion about the country’s state of play. People with a pessimistic outlook, who think the country is clearly heading in the wrong direction, are least likely to express satisfaction (7 out of 10). Nearly 1 in 10 people are dissatisfied. Among those who believe the country is clearly heading in the right direction, over 9 in 10 are satisfied with life against 1 percent who are dissatisfied.
Happiness is closely linked to self-perceived health. Among adults who say they are in very good shape, 96 percent state they are happy and 1 percent are unhappy. Among people in poor to very poor health, 57 percent are happy against 16 percent who are unhappy.
There is also a link between happiness levels and the number of holidays taken over the past 12 months. Among those who went on holiday more than once, 94 percent say they are happy. The share is 84 percent among those who went on holiday once and 77 percent among those who stayed at home.
Across the country, happiness levels are unequal and different for every municipality. Among the four largest cities, Utrecht has a higher share of happy people than Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Utrecht’s adult residents share the same level of happiness with those living outside the four big cities, namely 88 percent. Least happy are residents of The Hague and Rotterdam with shares of 83 and 84 percent respectively. In both cities, 5 percent of adults are unhappy; this is 1 percent in Utrecht.