Dutch child poverty rate remains unchanged; single parent homes affected worst

Last year, 264,000 Dutch children were part of a family with an income below the low-income limit – the same number as the year before, according to a report published Monday by the Dutch Centraal Bureau for Statistics (CBS). In 2018, 8.1% of all underage children in the Netherlands were at risk of poverty.

The report emphasizes that children from single-parent families are particularly in danger, as last year the children at risk of poverty were “more than 113,000 children from a single-parent family and nearly 147,000 children from a two-parent family.” Children from a single-parent family are five times more likely to be at risk of poverty than their peers from two-parent families. Specifically, CBS explains that “For a single-parent family with two children, the risk of poverty meant that they had less than €1,600 a month to spend in 2018. For a couple with two children, that was less than €2,000.”

Two-thirds of underage children at risk of poverty last year were part of a household using benefits – typically social assistance benefits – as the main source of income. CBS also reports 84% of families with children living below the low-income limit lived in a rented home – usually a social rental home.

CBS cites “54% of families with minor children said they could not go on holiday for a week every year” – this includes 10% of families without risk of poverty.

Rotterdam had a relatively high number of children living in a low-income family at 17.5% – more than twice as many as the national average. The area with the smallest number of children living in low-income families last year was Rozendaal at just 2.1%. Bunnik and Heiloo also had few children living in low-income families, with the number in each city below 3%.


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