The Dutch government publishes a Leefbarometer (Livability barometer) which scores every neighbourhood on a list of 100 indicators on the dimensions homes, inhabitants, facilities, safety, and physical surroundings. Indicators for inhabitants include the share of people from Morocco, Surinam, and Turkey, among other items. How are those indicators used for the overall score on the inhabitants dimension? Although some (white) people may prefer not to live next to black or brown people I would expect some controversy, if not a scandal, if a Dutch government indicator would explicitly score a neighbourhood negatively based on a share of people from those countries, independently of other indicators, so I suspect the way those indicators are used may be more subtle. Is it rather a measure of segregation?

  • This seems odd indeed. If they believe that people from these countries have lower income, why not incorporate income directly? If they believe that they commit more crimes, why not incorporate crime rates directly. Shouldn't they be doing both these things from the outset?
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 18:17
  • Of course, some Dutch people may prefer not to live near people from groups A,B,C, but this is a transient factor, and one that the government probably shouldn't be encouraging. I'm sure racist and nativist people can figure out for themselves which perfectly livable neighborhoods contain too many non-white people or foreigners for their tastes.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 18:26
  • @Obie2.0 From reading more through the PDF that user16394 linked, it appears their "model" is rather a fit based on house prices, satisfaction indices, etc. So they appear to be saying that after controlling for income, criminality, school quality, and nearly 100 other factors, they still find people are less happy in areas and house prices are lower in areas with lots of non-western immigrants. I need to read closer to see if that is indeed the case. Problematic is that the way it is presented it does appear to be reinforcing this.
    – gerrit
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 18:48
  • 1
    It’s not terribly surprising that you’d find that people are less happy to live in areas with immigrants, on average. The number of people who are more happy to live in such areas is likely smaller than the number of people who are less happy to do so, since immigrants generally constitute a minority of the population, and people who are happier in such places are likely immigrants, whereas those who are less happy there are likely non-immigrants who dislike immigrants.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 18:51
  • It’s still not something that should be making it into a government liveability index, though. It’s likely a very time-dependent factor, probably doesn’t help the majority of people, and, most importantly, provides government reinforcement of nativist sentiment and de facto segregation.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 18:53

2 Answers 2


The Leefbaarometer describes its methodology in this pdf (in Dutch), and the tables on pages 77-79 seem to show the effect of each indicator on the overall score.

From what I can understand, the "model 4" is the one actually used. But all models considered count high numbers of non-western allochtoons negatively towards livability, independently of other indicators.

Occasionally such things do lead to controversy (for example, the word allochtoon itself is controversial) but they rarely lead to the same amount of controversy you would get in the US or England.

  • 3
    It's funny that Wilders gets fined for wanting less Moroccans while a government agency officially claims it's better for the neighborhood. Commented Aug 23, 2017 at 19:20

The idea of using that indicator (to measure the amount of people from Morocco/Surinam/Turkey) is proposed in the paper about the use of the Leefbaarometer but in fact not used because there has not been proper research on that subject.

Indeed, some Dutch people seem to find a place less liveable when a more foreigners live there, but this is not measured (what might also not be possible), and besides, a lot of second or third generation 'foreigners' aren't foreigners at all anymore. Then it would become 'people with a non white skin-color'/'people with a Moroccan/Surinam/Turkish background' or something but that doesn't make sense because white or non-white, or (partially) Morocco or something else, they are all inhabitants of the Netherlands and with their own ideas about liveability, and the Leefbaarometer should reflect on everyone's ideas of liveabilty. The reason why the idea is even proposed is unclear to me, but perhaps via national surveys some people marked something about foreigners in their neighbourhood and the writer felt like mentioning it, but that is just a speculation.

In conclusion: the idea is proposed but not used.

  • I don't speak Dutch, but according to google translate, model 4 uses a "proportion of non-western immigrants" whereas the other three models break that proportion by nationality... so it seems to be used.
    – bobflux
    Commented Dec 31, 2018 at 19:59

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