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Illiteracy costs Dutch society €1bn a year, 2.5 million can’t read or write well

THE NETHERLANDS. There are 2.5 million people in the Netherlands who cannot read or write well and together they cost society €1bn a year, according to pro-literacy foundation Stichting Lezen & Schrijven.

People who cannot read or write properly find it harder to get a job and those who are in employment are in low-earning menial work, the foundation said. They are also more likely to have health issues and make use of the health service.

In total, the additional cost of illiteracy mounts up to €1bn, the foundation says.

Previous research into the illiteracy rate concluded there were 1.2 million people in the Netherlands with poor reading and writing skills. But that figure did not take pensioners into account.

Foundation board member Mariette Hamer told broadcaster NOS that everyone had a right to basic schooling, no mater how old they are. Education should be a basic provision in society, she said.

This article appeared first on

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