The Netherlands – great working place, but not a friendly environment

The Netherlands accomplished a general ranking of 33rd out of 59, with a satisfactory performance on labor but it did not prove to be a welcoming or inexpensive place.

According to a survey by InterNations Expat Insider, more than 12,000 people in 59 countries shared their opinions, answering questions to five different topics:

  • ”Quality of Life Index (security, safety, public transport, spare time options)
  • ”Ease of Settling in Index (kindness, language)
  • ”Working Abroad Index (job safety, career expectations)
  • ”Personal Finance Index”
  • ”Cost of Living Index”

Apart from this, in 2021, InterNations also conducted a survey on the impact of the pandemic, if it brought a change of plans on the life of expats, and if they were content with the way the government took charge of the pandemic.

According to the survey, Mexico, Taiwan, and Costa Rica proved to be the best locations due to their friendliness and comfortable environment, and as a bonus, private finances are very good. On the other hand, Italy, South Africa and Kuwait proved to be the opposite, with a poor performance on the Working Abroad Index. Moreover, New Zealand had the highest rank for expat satisfaction in regards to the pandemic situation response.

In 2021, the Netherlands dropped 5 places from last year, from 28th to 33rd. One of the reasons behind this was the Cost of Living Index – ranking 47th out of 59, and Ease of Settling Index – ranking 42nd out of 59. According to the survey, almost a third of people said they did not feel at home within the local culture, whereas 54% responded that it was difficult for them to make local friends. ”Dutch people are friendly but are not looking to make friends with you – they already have their own friend groups and do not mingle with expats.” said a US person living in the Netherlands.

The expats also had positive things to say about some parts of life in the Netherlands. One of them is the Working Abroad Index, ranking 13th with 83% of foreigners saying they are positive about the economy, whereas 68% said they feel safe at their jobs. The people who took the survey also responded good about the availability of government services online, with 87%.

While the foreigners expressed that the Dutch are not looking to make friends with you, 80% said that the language does not seem to be a problem because they find it easy to live and work in the Netherlands without speaking Dutch.

The survey served as an acknowledgement of the pandemic’s impact on the expats and their lives.

Generally, the survey showed that 5% of foreigners would go back home because of the pandemic, 26% said they wanted to be with their friends and family, whereas 19% have lost either a job opportunity or a job.


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