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Why Dutch children are the happiest children in the world

5 windmills in a row by Kinderdijk, Holland

On the most recent report of Unicef on child well-being in rich countries, the Netherlands ranks number 1 on the list. Dutch children seem to be the happiest children in the world. The report lays out several dimensions of child well-being:

  1. Material well-being
  2. Health and safety
  3. Educational well-being
  4. Behavior and risks
  5. Housing and environment
  6. Subjective well-being

The report has an extensive explanation of how each dimension is measured and analyzed but here’s the summary:

Happy Children - Dimensions of well-being

An important factor in a child’s happiness is the relationship with it’s parents, which shows an impressive figure on how easy Dutch children find it to talk to their parents (especially to their mothers):

Happy Kis - Parents relationship

The report from Unicef isn’t the only research concluding that Dutch children are among the happiest in the world,  so we must be doing something really right. Here’s my analysis to why Dutch children are the happiest children on our beautiful planet:

Happy Parents

Dutch parents are among the happiest parents in the world,  and it should be no surprise that this reflects on their children. Many researches agree that the key ingredient for happy children are happy parents!

No Pressure

Although the Dutch want the best for their children and stimulate them to do their best in school for a bright future they don’t put any unnecessary pressure on their kids. Homework is often kept to a minimum and there’s plenty of time to play and relax.

Easy to talk to parents

As the graph above shows, Dutch children find it easy to talk to their parents. Children can easily discuss what’s troubling them and express their opinions.

Daddy Time

father and son

Dutch dads make time for their children. There’s an equal role for both daddy and mommy in parenting the kids.



Stroopwafels are caramel waffles and a true delight, who wouldn’t be happy?

Sprinkles at breakfast

hagelslag boterham

Dutch children can eat chocolate sprinkles at breakfast, that’s a great start of the day!

Free and open minded

In the Netherlands there’s freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of sexual expression among others. The Dutch speak their minds.

Do you know more reasons why Dutch children are so happy? Let me know!