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Media attention for research into Dutch financial health

Research conducted by Deloitte, with advice from Leiden University and Nibud (National Institute for Family Finance Information), shows that six out of ten households in the Netherlands are financially unhealthy. National media paid much attention to the report.

Information on financial position

This week the results were published of an annual survey on the financial health of Dutch households

Five thousand Dutch households answered questions about their financial housekeeping. They shared information on their situation, behaviour, attitudes and feelings about income, spending, saving, borrowing and planning, and the balance between these aspects. Their knowledge and understanding of financial matters was also part of the survey.

Deterioration compared to 2021

The researchers distinguished four different financial health levels. From good to bad, these are: ‘financially healthy’, ‘financially adequate’, ‘financially vulnerable’, and ‘financially unhealthy’.

The results indicate that the health levels ‘financially vulnerable’ and ‘financially unhealthy’ have increased to the extent that currently 60% of all Dutch households can be considered financially unhealthy.  The situation has deteriorated compared to 2021. Then, the largest group was found to be financially healthy (27%)

Gap between men and women widening

It also appears that the gap that exists in the financial position of men and women has not closed. On the contrary: in 2022, 65% of women were in the health level ‘vulnerable’ or ‘unhealthy’, compared to 55% of men – an increase of 10% compared to the last measurement in 2021.

Young people are struggling but are slow to adjust behaviour

The financial position of young people is grim. Particularly the youngest age group surveyed (18-24) come out worst: 45% of this group are ‘financially unhealthy’. It is remarkable that although this age group (31% versus an average of 21%) says relatively often they have been affected by price increases in the past year, they also indicate most often (22% versus an average of 18%) that they haven’t responded to this by adjusting their behaviour. The fact that this group is affected by price increases on the one hand, but is unwilling or unable to adjust their behaviour on the other hand, makes them even more vulnerable according to the researchers. 

Long-term project

The research into financial health is a long-term project to which Leiden University contributes. Researchers from Leiden University have provided advice from their areas of academic expertise on the design and implementation of the project, so that on the basis of the results, the correct conclusions can be drawn and the research also meets reliability requirements.

Media attention  

At a time when the financial health of the Netherlands is high on the agenda, many media outlets reported on the research, including:

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