Report outlines positive elements in Netherlands
7 December 2006, AMSTERDAM — An increasing number of immigrants are attending tertiary education, more mothers have full-time work and a greater number of Dutch residents are paying better attention to their health.
7 December 2006
AMSTERDAM — An increasing number of immigrants are attending tertiary education, more mothers have full-time work and a greater number of Dutch residents are paying better attention to their health.
These are just some of the elements included in a report from the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP) on Thursday summarising recent positive developments in the Netherlands.
The SCP said the number of non-western immigrant students at tertiary institutes has more than doubled in the past decade, from 6 percent in 1995 to 12 percent last year.
There are also an increasing number of immigrants finding successful careers.
One third of Surinamese immigrants aged between 15 and 65, for example, are now part of the Dutch middle-class. That percentage is only slightly lower for Antilleans.
High schools and tertiary education institutes are spending more time and attention on talented students than in years past, the SCP said.
Farmers are changing practices and are increasingly focusing on organic production methods, rural tourism or nature conservation.
A large number of (primarily high-educated) mothers have a full-time job that they combine with family responsibilities. In 1996, there were 136,000 mothers with full-time work compared with 180,000 last year.
And although the number of churchgoers has declined in recent decades, the SCP said there are still 800,000 people who go to church every week.
It also said churchgoers give a lot to charity and perform a lot of volunteer work.
About 70 percent of Dutch residents don't smoke, about half exercise enough and almost 50 percent follow advice to drink alcohol in moderation.
However, the majority of residents are still failing to eat the recommended 200g of vegetables and 200g of fruit each day.
Nevertheless, there is growing interest among the population for physical and mental health.
The SCP hopes its report on positive developments will inspire the public and politicians before the New Year to view the Netherlands in a different light.
A copy of the report (in Dutch) can be found here.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news