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.



Farmland bird indicator, 1915-2019

Indicator | 25 April 2021

Changes in agricultural practices have caused a significant decline in breeding birds typical of agricultural areas in the Netherlands, starting from the early 20th century.

Trend fauna - all species monitored - Living Planet Index Netherlands, 1990-2019

Indicator | 1 April 2021

The Living Planet Index of the Netherlands has increased with 1.4% since 1990. The trend has stabilised over the past twelve years.

Quality surface water, 2019

Indicator | 14 January 2021

Most water bodies do not meet the quality requirements as laid down in the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). The chemical quality is in most water bodies insufficient. The... more

Number of threatened and extinct species in The Netherlands, by 2020

Indicator | 10 November 2020

Officially assembled Red Lists show that many Dutch plant and animal species are threatened with extinction.

Greenhouse gas emissions, 1990-2018

Indicator | 22 July 2020

In 2018, greenhouse gas emissions were 2.7% lower than in 2017, a decrease of 5.1 Mton CO2 equivalents. Emissions in 2018 were 15.1% lower than in 1990.

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