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.


This web publication was developed by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in cooperation with Textcetera Den Haag.

If you have a question or comment about this publication, please contact us.

Disclaimer and copyright


On this website, CBS uses functional cookies on this website to allow proper functioning of the site. These cookies do not contain personal user data and have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In addition, CBS uses analytical cookies to track visitor statistics, including the number of page views, which topics users are searching, and how visitors reach our website. The purpose is to gain insight into the functioning of the website in order to improve your user experience. We minimise traceability of visitors to our website as much as possible by anonymising the final octet (group of eight bits) of each IP address. These data are not shared with other parties. CBS does not use tracking cookies. Tracking cookies are cookies that track visitors during their browsing of other websites.

The functional and analytical cookies have minimal or no consequences for your privacy. In accordance with current regulations, these cookies may be placed without prior consent.

More information (in Dutch only):


Opening page and header: © Hollandse Hoogte / Martijn Beekman

Society - Trends: © Hollandse Hoogte / Patricia Rehe

Economy - Trends: © Hollandse Hoogte / Marcel Krijgsman

Labour and income - Trends: © Hollandse Hoogte / Sabine Joosten


Explanation of symbols

. Data not available
* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure
x Confidential
(between two whole numbers) up to and including
0 (0.0) The number is smaller than half of the selected unit
empty cell Not applicable
2018–2019 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/2019 Average for 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2018 and ending in 2019
2016/’17–2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, etc., 2016/’17 to 2018/’19 inclusive

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

The statutory task of Statistics Netherlands (CBS) is to produce official statistics and to disseminate the results from statistical research. CBS publishes reliable and coherent statistical information which is shared with public authorities, citizens, politicians, academics, the media and the private sector. In doing so, CBS supports public debates by delivering facts that matter.

CBS provides insights into current trends in Dutch society. The topics on which CBS publishes data are relevant to the public, e.g. economic growth and consumer prices, but also crime and leisure.

Aside from national (official) statistics production, CBS is also responsible for producing European (community) statistics. These determine the bulk of the statistical work programme.

For more information on CBS’s tasks, organisation and publications, go to


Should you have any questions or need more information, please contact us.

Scroll back to the top of the page