January 23, 2021


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Poverty in the Netherlands decreased slightly before the corona crisis

Poverty in the Netherlands decreased slightly before the corona crisis

Even before the corona crisis, 6.2 percent of the Dutch population lived in a household below the low-income threshold last year. This is reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics. That’s a little less than 2018, when it was 6.3 percent.

This low-income threshold, often referred to as the poverty threshold, was EUR 1,090 net for a single person, EUR 1,530 for a couple without children and EUR 2,080 for a couple with two children. The amounts are adjusted every year to reflect price increases.

More than 1 million people

That is 6.2 percent of the population, that is a little over 1 million people who live below the poverty line. 391,000 of them had lived in poverty for at least four years. That’s 2.5 percent of the population.

Statistics Netherlands has no poverty figures since the corona. However, several organizations fighting poverty say that more people have turned to help since March.

Decrease since 2013

In the years following the credit crunch, poverty rose to 7.4 percent of the population in 2013. Since then, the poverty rate has slowly fallen.

Of the employed, the self-employed have to deal with poverty more frequently than employees and self-employed with employees. In 2018, 6.9 percent of the self-employed lived below the poverty line, among employees it was 1.5 percent and among the self-employed it was 3.7 percent.


In 2019, 251,000 children grew up in families below the low-income threshold. That was 7,000 fewer than in 2018. At the time of the credit crisis, there were still 321,000 children in 2013.