ABN AMRO MeesPierson Survey: 'Money doesn't buy much happiness'

Press release -


Owning a fortune doesn't do much to increase happiness. In a recent survey held by ABN AMRO MeesPierson, wealthy Dutch people rated their happiness in life nearly equally high as those who are not as well off. The rich reported their happiness levels at an average of 8 out of 10, while the average Dutch person assigns their life a score of 7.7. Perceived success levels among the two groups are practically the same as well. Wealthy men and women rated their own success at 7.6 and their non-affluent counterparts' results averaged 7.2.

CEO ABN AMRO Private Banking Pieter van Mierlo: “Money doesn’t buy happiness, of course. But handling your wealth well can certainly give you a sense of satisfaction. Many rich Dutch people enjoy helping out others, for example by gifting their children or donating to charity. Our personal contacts with clients have taught us that such deeds contribute to their happiness in life.”

Dutch only
Voordeel & nadeel van vermogend zijn

The wealthy work longer hours

ABN AMRO MeesPierson's survey (Dutch only) reveals that wealthy Dutch people are a little less likely to do paid work. Sixty percent of the wealthy group work versus 68 percent of the non-wealthy participants. However, those of the former category who do have a paid position, clock in more hours each week (37 on average) than the average Dutch person (33 hours a week).

Rich people and Chinese food

Fitness, cycling and jogging were stated to be the most popular leisure sports for both categories. Golf and tennis are played twice (golf) and three times (tennis) as often by the rich as by the average Dutch person. The survey also polled food preferences; as it turns out, everybody loves Dutch cuisine most of all. Non-wealthy people prefer Italian food as the next best thing, while rich folk would rather get Chinese.

Facebook less popular among the wealthy

By far, Facebook is the Netherlands' most popular social media platform. Roughly 3 out of 4 Dutch men and women actively use it. Although the rich also use Facebook more than other social media, they are less avid users than the non-affluent. Just over half of them (52 percent) have a Facebook account; the runner-up is LinkedIn (47 percent) which also counts as the undisputed second favourite (36 percent) of those who are not rich.

About the survey

ABN AMRO MeesPierson held a representative survey among 532 wealthy Dutch participants and 495 non-wealthy ones. Wealthy in this context entails those who live in the Netherlands and have a disposable household income of 500,000 euros or more. Part of that group consists of millionaires; about 150 in total.

The full survey can be accessed here (Dutch only).


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