The media eats up stories about cultural conflict and problems societies confront in dealing with newly arrived immigrants. A survey of Dutch newspapers usually reveals statements such as:
“We’re plagued by an epidemic of Moroccan violence”
However, a new report by the Dutch national statistics organization, Statistics Netherlands(CBS) offers a sharply different view of Dutch society. The CBS study shows non-western immigrants and their children are closing gaps with native Dutch citizens in various areas of society. More immigrants are enrolled in higher education and more are graduating from high school. There has also been a sharp rise in the number of immigrants in the workforce.
According to Jan Latten, a researcher with CBS, “when you work, you meet colleagues, you speak better Dutch, you might have to take the bus, you have to know the way to work. It adds up to social cohesion. Work gives structure to your life. Those who stay on the sidelines have a tough time taking part in other things. So it also has social consequences.”
There is still some feeling among native born Dutch about young immigrant youths. But, adults invariably have problems with adolescents and when young people speak a different language or have some different customs, it only accentuates problems.