Dutch people are champions in voluntary work. Almost half the population of the Netherlands does some form of voluntary work at least once a year and 30% do it on a monthly basis, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday, November 5, 2015.
The new report Sociale samenhang (Social cohesion) is about what binds and divides us looks at trends in Dutch society in terms of participation and trust in the period 2012 to 2014. The CBS says that many people are actively involved in society and have trust in it. Voluntary work is an important part of that involvement, the CBS affirmed. Not only do people have trust in each other, but to a large extent in the legal system, police and army.
The report shows that three in 10 people have daily contact with friends and family but only 16% speak to their neighbors on a daily basis. People with a non-western immigrant background are more likely to have daily contact with friends and family than the native Dutch, the CBS mentioned
In comparison to the previous report of 2010, despite the economic crisis and political ‘participation and trust have hardly changed, and in the longer term, have improved’. Nevertheless, religion, country of origin and education level remain divisive, the report states. In general, the lower someone’s level of education, ‘the less likely they are to join in, to mistrust other people and be wary of social and political institutions’.