Economic opportunities are associated with the neighborhood where people grew up

A new interactive website developed by economist Bastian Ravesteijn (Erasmus School of Economics) and his research team shows stark differences in economic opportunities depending on the area in the Netherlands where people spend their childhood. Using pseudonymized Dutch data on a million people in their mid-thirties, they investigate to what extent the place where a person grows up is associated with income at a later age. In October, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant published extensively on these results.

Ravesteijn and his team documented large differences in income between people with parents with low and high incomes and between regions in the Netherlands. But even when the researchers compared people whose parents had a similar income, there were substantial differences between and even within municipalities.

This research project was supported by the ODISSEI Microdata Access Discount. ‘In the Netherlands, we were able to carry out this research because of the data infrastructure at Statistics Netherlands and the financial support of ODISSEI. In most other European countries a project like this would have been very expensive or even impossible to do. As a consequence of this data infrastructure, the Netherlands is one of the best countries worldwide to produce knowledge on important societal issues, such as unequal opportunities’, Ravesteijn explains.

To make the research results accessible to a broad audience, the researchers developed the website ‘’, inspired by the American Opportunity Atlas. Ravesteijn: ‘on this website, citizens, policy makers and researchers can see for themselves how childhood circumstance is associated with later-life outcomes.’ Over the coming months, additional data and outcomes will be added to the Kansenkaart.  

Relevant links

Opgroeien in een arme buurt of in een rijke wijk kan later tienduizenden euro’s inkomen schelen’, Volkskrant, 10 October 2020

Eens een dubbeltje, altijd een dubbeltje?’, Volkskrant, 10 October 2020, developed by Helen Lam, Matthijs Jansen en Bastian Ravesteijn (Erasmus School of Economics and Tinbergen Instituut) 

Microdata-access, ODISSEI information

Image:, © MapTiler © OpenStreetMap contributors