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Chinese-Dutch children outperform native Dutch classmates

Aiming for higher-end jobs

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

RIJSWIJK, the Netherlands - Children raised in the Chinese-Dutch community are faring so well at school, that they are achieving better marks than their native Dutch classmates.

Two thirds of children from Chinese immigrant families go on to the two highest levels of secondary education, while only half of their Dutch classmates do. Out of all the population groups in the Netherlands, the Chinese most often go on to higher education after finishing secondary schooling, reports the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP).

Those with Chinese roots are also more successful in the Dutch labour market, the survey found. The data suggests that are often employed in high-end jobs while unemployment among the Chinese-Dutch is relatively low. According to the Institute of Social Research, the Chinese attach great value to education and hard work.


An estimated 110,000 Chinese have made the Netherlands their home. While previously many Chinese were employed in restaurants, today only 43 percent are into food and catering. The Chinese-Dutch also tend to gravitate towards self-employment, far more than, for example, someone with Turkish or native Dutch roots.

The SCP also detected large differences between the generations. First-generation Chinese tend to work hard in the catering sector and speak little Dutch. They are usually unskilled and live in isolation, even from other Chinese immigrants. The second generation tends to be much better integrated, keep many Dutch friends and hold modern views.