Visie & Beleidsplein


a sporting nation

a brief glance into Dutch sports


Pulles, I., & Breedveld, K. (2014). NL: a sporting nation, a brief glance into Dutch sports, factsheet. Utrecht: Mulier Instituut.

Data for this factsheet is drawn from the Euro 2013 Eurobarometer 'Sports and Physical Activity'. In terms of sport, the Dutch pride themselves on their strong traditions, especially in swimming, football and speed-skating. The country always strives for a top 10 position in the Olympic medal tables. Sports policies are the responsibility of the Department of Health. Physical education policies fall under the Department of Education. Nevertheless, most investment in sports facilities and sports clubs comes from the cities. Among the EU-28, the Netherlands ranked the highest for monthly (89%), weekly (83%) and daily (43%) recreational non-sports physical activity in 2013. The Dutch score 4th in terms of monthly sports participation. 8% of the Dutch take part in sports more than five times a week. This is the same as the EU average. The Netherlands ranks highest in the EU in terms of membership of sports clubs, and second for volunteering (after Sweden and jointly with Denmark). In no other European country is the satisfaction of the citizens with opportunities to take part in sports locally as high as in the Netherlands. As for most Europeans, health (61%) is the most important motive for the Dutch to take part in sport (56%), followed closely by relaxation and pleasure (both 56%).

Uitgever(s): Mulier Instituut,


NL: a sporting nation : a brief glance into Dutch sports : factsheet

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Ine Pulles
Koen Breedveld

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