Kimberly Martis is a Dutch Caribbean freelance writer. She writes about culture, beauty, tv-shows, music, movies, odd jobs and fiction.
Do you ever think about moving to a different country? If you do, and the Netherlands is one of the countries you are considering moving to, then this article is for you. Here are the most important pros and cons of living in the Netherlands.
Pros of Living in the Netherlands
There is a lot of freedom in the Netherlands. Freedom of speech is one of the rights that especially the politicians love to exercise, as you are allowed to say almost anything. Then there is the right to protest. As soon as any large group is dissatisfied with something they exercise their right to protest. The police are usually around to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Fortunately, most of the protests don’t get too out of hand.
Another part of freedom in the Netherlands is the right to be who you are. The LGBTQ community is alive and thriving in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, there are some cases of senseless violence, but most of the time the LGBTQ community can express and be themselves in public without any bad consequences.
Through the country, there are food centers that provide free food to the less fortunate. The workers at the food centers are all volunteers. After a person signs up to receive food at the food center, the center checks if they are eligible. The food packages can be picked up once a week. The content of every food package is different; it varies from meat, potatoes, and candy to personal hygiene items.
The roads in the Netherlands are great. There is a lot of money going into taking care of the roads, and it shows. No unexpected potholes, or half-finished or dangerous roads.
There is public transportation everywhere in the Netherlands: trains, metros, trams, and busses. Granted, the trains are delayed every other day, and prices on public transportation are pretty high, but eventually public transportation gives everybody the chance to go where they want to go.
The Dutch government offers parents quarterly payments to help them provide for their children up to 18 years old. You can get child benefits for a maximum of three children at the same time. When your child turns 6 years old and 12 years old the benefit amount goes up. Parents can receive child benefits not only for biological children but also for adoptive children, foster children, stepchildren and other children being raised as if they are the parents' own. This is a great extra if you’re struggling to provide for your children.
When you live in the Netherlands you are obligated to have health insurance. A lot of people are dissatisfied with the monthly payment required for health insurance, because it is pretty high. Yet it's a valuable government benefit: Dutch citizens living in the Netherlands will always receive medical help without having to pay huge amounts of additional fees. Some feel they are paying for nothing, as they don’t need medical care very often. But the moment they will need medical care, they will receive it.
Cons of Living in the Netherlands
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of hidden racism in the Netherlands. When you’re walking down the streets you might not get yelled at or attacked, but the racism is there. The racism often shows during job interviews or discussions about a blackface character named Black Pete.
Taxes are very high in the Netherlands, and many things are taxed.
The Dutch language is very difficult to learn. Therefore, reading and speaking Dutch might be a challenge. Fortunately, a lot of Dutch people speak English so you can always fall back on that.
There is a very big housing problem in the Netherlands. Therefore, it might be difficult to find a great house at a reasonable price. One solution is renting a private house from a landlord, but the rents for private housing are very high, as the landlords are aware of the housing problem and most of them use this to their advantage.
© 2019 Kimberly Martis
Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on November 07, 2019:
I have not lived in the Netherlands but have friends there. I think another con (that I have been told) is government regulation. I think the excessive regulation is the big cause behind the housing shortages.
Kimberly Martis (author) on April 17, 2019:
Hi Thelma! I’m glad you like the hub. Germany is indeed a neighbor country of the Netherlands and it is also a great county. I visit it often as it is nice for a short get away.
Kimberly Martis (author) on April 17, 2019:
Hi Liz! I would definitely recommend Volendam. It's a very special place in the Netherlands and you will get to see a different side of the country. Utrecht is also a great city to visit. It is big and they have great tourist spots but it’s not a crowded as Amsterdam. And I would also recommend ‘s-Hertogenbosch. It is 20 minutes away from Eindhoven. The city has much history but is also very modern. This week I will put up a Quick guide to ‘s-Hertogenbosch. I hope it will give you an idea of what the city has to offer!
Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on April 16, 2019:
I have often visited The Netherlands as I have relatives there. Besides that, Germany is a neighbour country of Holland. Thanks for sharing this hub.
Liz Westwood from UK on April 15, 2019:
I have visited Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leiden and Eindhoven. Please can you recommend other places in the Netherlands that are good to visit?
Kimberly Martis (author) on April 15, 2019:
Hi! I was born and raised in the Netherlands so I have been living here for 30 years now.
Liz Westwood from UK on April 14, 2019:
I was interested to read your views on the Netherlands, as I have only ever visited for a few days at a time. How long have you lived there?