The quality of the environment in the Netherlands has improved considerably since 1990. Emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere, for example, have been reduced significantly as a result of measures taken to comply with European standards. Almost everywhere, the air quality meets the European requirements as cars become cleaner and emissions produced by manufacturing industry are reduced. Contaminated soil sites have been mapped, facilitating a systematic approach. Waste produced by industries and households is increasingly recycled. Although the water quality has improved marginally, a major effort will be required to comply with the European standards for 2027 as laid down in the Water Framework Directive.

The editors have selected the most important indicators. Together, they provide a picture of the state of the environment.



Spatial conditions of the national ecological network, 2021

Indicator | 19 October 2022

The increase in the area of new nature since 1990 has improved the size and connectivity (spatial conditions) of terrestrial ecosystems in the Netherlands. However, a considerable part of the... more

Nature and Landscape Index

Indicator | 18 October 2022

The Nature and Landscape Index (Index NL) indicates the presence and locations of types of natural and semi-natural areas in the Netherlands and is the basis for the provincial nature conservation... more

Landscape openness

Indicator | 18 October 2022

The most open areas in the Netherlands are the large water bodies, the northern marine clay and peat areas and the IJsselmeer polders. The most enclosed and small-scale landscapes are found... more

Ecosystem quality and trends in nitrogen availability, 2020

Indicator | 14 October 2022

The environmental pressure from nitrogen deposition has reduced since the 1990s. The area of terrestrial ecosystems where nitrogen deposition leads to poor environmental conditions for the... more

Realisation of the national ecological network - land acquisition and conversion, 1990-2018

Indicator | 14 October 2022

On 1 January 2021 the area of land acquired for realising the national ecological network (including land for which the designated land use has been changed) had increased to more than 115,000... more

The Environmental Data Compendium is a partnership of CBS, PBL, RIVM and WUR.