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Amsterdam Area Guide

Living in Amsterdam

The Netherlands is rated one of the top ten world’s happiest nations, according to research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The Better Life Index is based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life, and includes housing, health, environment, education, community and safety.

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The result is unsurprising considering the strong emphasis the Dutch place on achieving a work-life balance. Putting in longer-than-average hours at the office is considered a faux pas rather than a virtue. Equally, it is not unusual for people to work only four days a week, especially if they have children.

The child-centred legacy of the Netherlands is perhaps reflected in the excellent selection of schools available to families looking to move to the country. Each city and even municipality has its own choice of schools from International and private schools to the excellent local schools.

The country is also home to one of the world’s oldest and most respected systems of higher education. Thirteen of the Netherlands’ universities are ranked in the world’s top 400 and an impressive six in the global top 100.

The crime rate is currently so low that there are not even enough criminals to fill the country’s jails. From 2016, five jails will be forced to close over the next five years. In the Netherlands, people generally feel unconcerned about walking alone at night – 81% people said they feel safe compared to the OECD average of 68%.

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