Based on data gathered by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the AD has calculated that the Dutch town of Dalfsen located in the province of Overijssel is home to the happiest inhabitants in the Netherlands

CBS stats on wealth and welfare in the Netherlands

On Thursday, CBS published its figures on overall welfare and prosperity in different parts of the Netherlands. On the whole, the Dutch statistics office found that incomes are not the only decisive factor in determining the overall prosperity of a region, with various other factors – including healthcare, life expectancy and leisure time – also playing an important role. 

According to CBS, Amsterdam, Delft, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Southeast North Brabant are the regions with the highest GDP per capita, while generally the lowest GDP can be found in the northern parts of the country, and in Achterhoek, Southwest Overijssel, and Zeeland. 

While Friesland has a relatively low GDP per capita, CBS reports that the province scores better than other, wealthier parts of the country when it comes to “other indicators of broad prosperity in the field of material prosperity and labour.” For example, the Frisian regions have relatively low levels of unemployment and household debt, a lot of green spaces, and those living there are generally happier with their commute times to and from work

Dalfsen the happiest municipality, Heerlen the least happy

Based on the data gathered by CBS, AD has calculated which areas of the country are home to the happiest inhabitants. According to the newspaper’s calculations, Dalfsen – a town in Overijssel – is the happiest place in the Netherlands.

This is because Dalfsen “scores best on all kinds of aspects that together form the “broad prosperity” of a municipality.” The almost 30.000 inhabitants not only benefit from being “in the national middle bracket” in terms of the local economy and average income, but also from a high life expectancy, a “reasonable” amount of wealth per household, a “very high degree of social cohesion and mutual trust”, and schools and cafes within walking distance. 

Furthermore, the municipality boasts low levels of unemployment and crime, and inhabitants are generally healthy. Interestingly, all of the four happiest municipalities – Dalfsen, Dinkelland, Raalte, and Staphorst – are all located in Overijssel. Meanwhile, the unhappiest municipalities are in Limburg and South Holland: Heerlen occupies the bottom spot, with its high crime levels, low life expectancy and low average incomes. 

After Heerlen, Rotterdam, Kerkrate, Brunssum and Schiedam were found to have the lowest levels of overall happiness. Looking at the Netherlands as a whole, the AD found “a clear division between the north on the one hand and the Randstad and North Brabant on the other.” While the north scored well when it came to health, society and environment, the Randstad and Brabant performed better in terms of “material prosperity”. 

Thumb: Frans Blok via

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