The Kingdom of the Netherlands is one of the most developed countries of the European Union with a large modern economy and a high quality of life. According to the level of nominal GDP per capita is one of the ten richest countries in Europe. The Netherlands has a very beautiful architecture, comfortable climate and created optimal conditions for long-term accommodation.

The population of the Netherlands is just over 17 million people. By the way, this is one of the most densely populated countries on the planet. About 80% of the local residents are ethnic Dutch. In addition, there are many Germans, Turks and Moroccans. About prices and costs of living, taxes, employment, wages, education, medicine, pros and cons of living in the Netherlands in 2024 we will talk further.

Living in the Netherlands

Pros and cons of living in the Netherlands

Life in the Netherlands for foreigners is not as cloudless as it may seem at first glance. Unlike short-term tourist trips, where many people want to enjoy the liberal laws and just have a good rest, a permanent stay in this country is not suitable for everyone. Let's highlight the positive and negative aspects of living in the Dutch territory.

Pros of living in the Netherlands

  • Most Dutch people are open and friendly people who speak English. In addition, many cities are home to large expat communities.

  • A strong economy and a good geographical location allow for profitable business in the Netherlands.

  • The Netherlands is a very democratic, free and tolerant country.

  • Ideal transport infrastructure, including many bicycle paths.

  • The country has low crime rate, transparent legal system and almost no corruption.

  • In the Netherlands is very beautiful, in the cities are a lot of canals and well-groomed parks.

  • Quality medicine and an effective education system.

Pros and cons of living in the Netherlands

Cons of living in the Netherlands

  • High taxes and the cost of rent.

  • Some foreigners are dissatisfied with the customer service and service in general in the Netherlands, including restaurants and hotels.

  • In the Netherlands there are many rules and unwritten norms of behavior, which should not be exceeded. You can understand what they mean only after a long stay in the country. Few parking spaces, traffic jams and incredible fines for traffic violations.

  • It is very difficult for foreigners from third countries to find a legal job in the Netherlands.

  • There are a lot of people per square kilometer in the Netherlands. The western part of the country is especially densely populated.

  • From October to April the climate in the Netherlands is humid, and in summer the weather can change drastically within a few hours.

Prices and cost of living in the Netherlands

The best cities to live in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Maastricht and Eindhoven. In addition to the capital, the most expensive settlements include Rotterdam and The Hague. The rent of a studio apartment in the Netherlands in the central part of the city is about 1,175 euros, and in remote areas of about 970 euros. The price of a square meter of real estate in the center – 5,175 euros, and 3,800 euros outside the city.

Prices in the Netherlands in 2024

  • Bread (500 g) – 1.60 euros

  • Milk (1 L) – 1.09 euros

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 3.98 euros

  • Chicken Fillets (1 kg) – 14.40 euros

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 1.84 euros

  • Dutch cheese (1 kg) – 11.18 euros

  • Bananas (1 kg) – 2.18 euros

  • Apples (1 kg) – 1.64 euros

  • Gasoline (1 liter) – 1.97 euros

  • Cab (1 km) – 2.40 euros

  • Public transport fare – 3.40 euros

  • Monthly bus pass – 80 euros

  • Utilities (85 sq. m.) – 224.51 euros per month

  • Mobile Tariff Local (month) – 23.08 euros

  • Internet – 40.57 euros per month

Note. Above are averages of prices collected from different cities in the Netherlands.

Taxes in the Netherlands

Taxes in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands there is a modern and efficient tax system that promotes the development of local businesses and attracting foreign investment. Tax rates are quite high, but correspond to European standards. The Netherlands have agreements on avoidance of double taxation with more than 90 countries.

Tax rates in the Netherlands in 2024

Corporate income tax – 25.8%. For companies engaged in innovative activities at the level of annual income of less than 200 thousand euros the rate is 19%.

VAT. The basic rate – 21%. The reduced rates – 9% (food products, pharmaceutical products, printed matter, books, water supply and some other services) and 0% (gold coins, domestic and international passenger transport by air and sea).

Tax on dividends – 15%

Savings and investment income – 30%

Income tax:

  • Annual income up to 75,518 euros – 36.97%

  • Annual income over 75,518 euros – 49.50%

National insurance contribution (charged to the employee) – 27.65%

Personal tax credit – 3,070 euros

Employment tax credit – 5,052 euros

Jobs and wages in the Netherlands

To be legally employed in the Dutch territory, in most cases, a foreigner must first find a vacancy, sign an employment contract, obtain a work permit, open a visa and apply for a residence permit in the Netherlands. These requirements apply to applicants from third countries.

Usually, when working in Amsterdam and other cities for more than 90 days, the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service issues a special document to the alien – GVVA, which combines the work permit and residence permit. For seasonal and temporary workers (up to 3 months) this document is not provided. The level of unemployment in the Netherlands during the year does not exceed 3-5%.

Since January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in the Netherlands is €2,069.96 per month. For workers between the ages of 15 and 21 there are lower rates, ranging from 30 to 80% of the basic minimum wage. According to the Dutch Central Planning Bureau, the average wage in the Netherlands in 2024 is €2,855 per month before taxes. After all mandatory deductions, that leaves about €2,152.

Higher education in the Netherlands

Higher education in the Netherlands

The Dutch higher education system offers more than 2,100 courses in English. Local universities are respected by major employers not only within the country, but also abroad. For example, in the UK and the USA. The prestigious QS World University Rankings 2024 lists eight Dutch universities in the top 200 best universities in the world. The most famous are the University of Amsterdam and the Technical University of Delft.

Today in the Dutch universities studied more than 90 thousand foreign students, including more than 22 thousand of citizens of countries outside the European Union. The minimum requirements for admission are a certificate of secondary education and a certificate of English / Dutch. Additional conditions – exams, tests, interviews – are set by the university. The average cost of education in the Netherlands for foreigners ranges from 6 to 20 thousand euros a year.

Medicine in the Netherlands

According to the Legatum Institute, a London-based research institute, the Netherlands is one of the top 10 countries with the best medicine in the world, ahead of such developed countries as Germany and France. All locals must have basic health insurance, which covers basic health services, including long-term care for chronic illnesses and mental health care.

The Netherlands' annual spending on health care exceeds 10 percent of GDP. On average, about 4,000 euros per inhabitant. Almost all Dutch doctors speak excellent English, which makes medical care in the Netherlands accessible to many foreigners. For such services as dentistry and physiotherapy, there is additional medical insurance or out-of-pocket payments.

In conclusion, the average life expectancy at birth in the Netherlands in 2024 is 81 years, with men living about 80 years and women 83.

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