Are youngsters with a foreign background closing the gap with their native Dutch peers?
Compared with a few years ago, the situation in which young people with a non-western foreign background in the Netherlands find themselves has improved in a number of areas. They are better educated and more of them have jobs. In spite of this, they still have some catching up to do with respect to native Dutch young people.
Quarter of young people have a foreign background
Nearly one quarter of 0-24 year-olds living in the Netherlands have a foreign background, putting their number at over one million. In 2008, seven in ten of these were of non-western descent. Turks and Moroccans – both accounting for 21 percent – were the largest groups of young non-western foreigners.
More overweight, less alcohol
Young people with a non-western foreign background aged 2-24 years are more likely to be overweight than their native peers (22 versus 14 percent respectively in 2008). However, they drink less than native Dutch youngsters. Nearly 82 percent of native Dutch children aged 12-18 years had ever drunk an alcoholic beverage, compared with 57 percent of children with a non-western foreign background.
Overweight young people 2008, and drinking 2007
More foreigners with a degree in higher education
The number of young people with a non-western foreign background who graduated from higher education doubled from 2 thousand in 2000/’01 to 4 thousand in 2006/’07. In addition, the share of 18-24 year-old women in particular with a non-western foreign background leaving school with a basic qualification or still in education rose strongly: from 74 percent in 2003 to 85 percent in 2008.
Young people (18-24 years) with a basic qualification or still in education
In spite of the doubling of the number of graduates from higher education, the share of young people with a non-western foreign background who participate in higher education is still smaller than that of native Dutch young people. In 2006/’07 this share was 12 percent for 12-24 year-olds with a non-western foreign background, compared with nearly 17 percent for native Dutch young people.
More foreign young people in work
Backed by the strong economy in recent years, the share of young people in work among 15-22 year-olds with a non-western foreign background also rose: from 47 percent in 2003 to 56 percent in 2008. In spite of this increase, they are still much less likely to have a job than their native peers (56 and 81 percent respectively in 2008).
Share of young people (18-22 years) with a job
Francis van der Mooren and Astrid Pleijers