More poverty and unemployment in isolated Dutch villages
Despite efforts to improve rural living conditions, people in isolated areas have a worse quality of life than those in Dutch villages close to urban centres, according to a new report by the SCP think-tank.
Unemployment rates are slightly higher as is the prevalence of poverty, the new SCP village monitor shows.
People living in isolated villages are more likely to have a low level of education, and this is unlikely to improve because successful youngsters tend to migrate to towns and cities. In isolated villages one in five people has a college education, compared with 32% of city dwellers.
And while there is a group of highly-skilled people who choose to live in the country, they move to villages close to the cities, the SCP says.
At the same time, village dwellers have better contact with their neighbours than people living in cities and are more likely to do volunteer work.
Some 5.3 million people live in rural Netherlands.