1 December 2017 • HOP, by Bas Belleman
Students satisfied with their life
As reported by Statistics Netherlands, students and highly educated young people are generally satisfied with their life. And they’re especially happy when living with a partner.
Young adults enter higher education or start work, they leave home, and they move farther away from the influence of their parents. In short, Statistics Netherlands refers to this in its national Youth Monitor as a ‘turbulent phase in their life’. ‘These major changes can affect their well-being.’
Highly educated and satisfied
But it’s actually not that bad. Children might be somewhat happier, according to previous research, but young adults (ages 18 to 25) feel just as satisfied as the average Dutch person. ‘This picture has changed hardly at all in recent years,’ say the researchers. Of all young adults, 85% of them are satisfied. Another 10% doesn’t have a very strong opinion about this. Only 3% is downright dissatisfied with his or her life. Among highly educated young adults and students, the satisfaction rate is even higher: Of these, 88% are satisfied as compared to 80% of those who are less educated.
A partner means happiness
Statistics Netherlands concentrated mainly on the home situation. People are apparently happiest when living with a partner. Young people still living with their parents are almost as happy as long as their parents are still together; it’s a less happy situation in single-parent families. Statistics Netherlands also notes that a positive score for happiness could also be related to the fun they get from student and sports associations – organisations that students and highly educated young people are more often members of than their less educated contemporaries who are less enthusiastic about their social life.
Higher alcohol consumption
Statistics Netherlands makes no correlation with alcoholic beverages but its monitor includes a section about alcohol consumption. The more highly educated young people appear to drink a bit more than the rest. More than 90% of the students and highly educated young adults sometimes drink beer or wine. Among the less highly educated, this is just 80%.