Dutch people hopeful about their own lives, less about society

Emma Pleeging, junior researcher at the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization and PhD candidate at Erasmus School of Economics

Last month, the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP) stated that for the first time in ten years the Netherlands has more optimists than pessimists. But, are all those optimists also hopeful about the future? The answer is disappointing, according to the “Hoopbarometer”, which attempts to capture the mood of citizens by taking hope and trust as the starting point. The Dutch score an average of 6.1 on a scale of 10.

The Hoopbarometer is an initiative of the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization and the Institute for Leadership and Social Ethics. They launched a pilot last year, and this year the results are official. Emma Pleeging, junior researcher at the Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization and PhD candidate at Erasmus School of Economics says 'The more distance there is between people, the less trust there is. People trust their family, local residents, but have less confidence in strangers. In that respect, the local police are closer to the people than politicians in The Hague.’