SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The number of children in families living on welfare benefits has dropped for the first time since 2009, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.
In total, 228,000 children were being raised in families on welfare, down almost 3,000 on 2016, the CBS said. Nevertheless, this still means some 7% of children in the Netherlands were growing up in very low-income families.
Over six in 10 of the children in families on benefits had a ‘non-western’ background and in 80% of the cases, the main breadwinner was female. Basic welfare benefits amount to just over €1,300 a month for a family, but people can also claim child benefits and extra help to pay for housing and health insurance.
Earlier this month the CBS said the number of low-income households in the Netherlands has gone up for the first time in four years. Some 8.2% of households – or 599,000 – have an income on, or just above the poverty line, the CBS said.
Around a third of the rise is due to the influx of refugees from Syria, many of whom end up reliant on benefits, the CBS said. Single people with an income of no more than €1,040 and families with children on an income of €1,960 risk poverty.
Families with a single, low-skilled breadwinner are most at risk of falling below the poverty line. The new CBS figures also show a rise in the number of children who have lived in single parent families since birth.
Some 15,200 children have never lived with both parents, a rise of over 3,000 on 2000. (DutchNews)