Netherlands Survey of the Self-employed

‘Being your own boss’. More and more Dutch people are undertaking these endeavors. To collect information regarding the sustainable employability and working conditions of self-employed persons, TNO and CBS developed the NSS. After the pilot in 2012, the NSS is published every two years since 2015.

In 2021, the Dutch workforce consisted of almost 1.9 million self-employed persons. In particular, the amount of self-employed persons without employees is increasing in the Netherlands. It is important to monitor the sustainable employability and working conditions of this group to identify chances and risks. Not only because of their large number, but also because they contribute to the flexibility of the labor market e.g. by continuing to work even after their retirement age. Contrary to employees, pensions and insurances are not obligatory. Self-employed persons are less likely to build a pension at all and most of them are not insured for disabilities.


The data

All the data collected by the NSS can be found in the NSS Benchmarktool (in Dutch). This tool allows users to freely look up and compare data. Pick a subject from the menu and look at the data yourself!

You can take a look at the NSS data (in Dutch) below.

  • NSS Data


The NSS questionnaire includes the following themes:

  • Working conditions
  • Sustainable employability
  • Learning/education and development
  • Performance
  • Health
  • Occupational safety
  • Motivation
  • Working hours
  • Clients
  • Pension and insurances
  • Future perspectives

Data collection

The NSS is a biannual survey. In 2021, the NSS was administrated for the fifth time. Almost 25,000 self-employed persons (freelancers and independent contractors) were approached of which over 8,000 completed the survey.

Contact us

NSS Contact

More information about NSS?

Or do you have any questions?
Contact us!

Wouter van der Torre
Project Leader NSS