Some 85% say they’re happy, but 62% think the Netherlands is headed the wrong way

April 20, 2023  –THE HAGUE – Some 85 percent of Netherlands residents are still happy with their lives. But 62 percent believe that things are going wrong with the country, the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP) reported on Thursday in its new edition of the Continuous Survey Citizens Perspective. 

Dissatisfaction with politicians has increased further. Last autumn, 60 percent of Netherlands residents were dissatisfied with politics in The Hague, compared to 49 percent in the spring. 62 percent of those surveyed believe things are going wrong in the Netherlands, compared to 46 percent in the previous survey. 

According to the SCP, this dissatisfaction cannot be viewed separately from politics. Almost half of the people who think things are going in the wrong direction refer to politics. In the autumn of 2022, confidence in parliament fell to 43 percent (from 52 percent) and confidence in the government to 41 percent (from 50 percent). 

Citizens mainly accuse politicians, and the government in particular, of a lack of decisiveness and vision. Furthermore, people are pessimistic about the great distance between “The Hague” and ordinary people. The respondents find politicians unreliable and believe they will stay in power no matter how many mistakes they make. 

According to the SCP, dissatisfaction is the result of an accumulation of several social problems. In addition to concerns about politics, people worry about high prices, income differences, immigration, the shortage of affordable housing, and the approach to climate change. At the end of 2022, people were mainly concerned about immigration, rising prices, and the nitrogen crisis. 

Economic concerns have also increased. 73 percent expect the economy to deteriorate, compared to 63 percent at the beginning of 2022. These concerns are mainly due to the rising prices of energy and groceries.

Netherlands residents rated their own financial situation at 7.3 on average, which remained stable compared to the previous survey. 

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