Boys happier than girls on Bonaire and Saba

Kralendijk, The Bottom, Saba – Both on Bonaire and on Saba, boys between the age of 11 and 18 are on average more likely to report being happy than girls. The main leisure activity of young people on Bonaire is gaming, while Saba’s youth also likes to spend time outdoors with friends. On both islands, over one-quarter say they often feel bored; on Saba, it is mainly the girls who often feel bored. This is indicated by new figures from the ´Scholierenonderzoek Caribisch Nederland´, a survey conducted among students in the Caribbean Netherlands at the end of 2020 as part of the National Youth Monitor.

Students up to age 18 in both secondary (VO) and vocational secondary education (MBO) were asked to give a score between 1 and 10 for their level of happiness and their satisfaction with life. In 2020, Bonaire’s youth rated both their happiness and life satisfaction with an average score of 7.7. On Saba, happiness was rated a 7.1 and life satisfaction a 6.7.

Boys happier than girls

Both on Bonaire and on Saba, boys are happier than girls. On Bonaire, life satisfaction is also greater among boys than among girls; on Saba, this is virtually the same for both sexes. In addition, on Bonaire the average scores for happiness and life satisfaction are higher among those up to age 15 than among those aged 15 to 17. On Saba, the scores are almost equal for both age groups.

Gaming most popular leisure activity among boys on Bonaire

On Bonaire, 43 percent of 11 to 17-year-old VO and MBO students indicate that they often spend their free time gaming. They are also relatively likely to do sports (37 percent), be engaged in creative activities (35 percent) and meet up with friends outside (30 percent). Boys (61 percent) are more likely to play video games than girls (26 percent). They also play sports and meet up with friends outside relatively more often. Girls, on the other hand, are more likely to be engaged in creative activities: 39 percent, versus 31 percent of boys. Both boys (17 percent) and girls (15 percent) are least likely to do volunteer work as a leisure activity.

Meeting up with friends outside an important leisure activity on Saba

On Saba, 54 percent of young people between the ages of 11 and 18 report that they often meet up with friends outside. This makes it a popular leisure activity on the island, just like gaming (53 percent), playing sports (52 percent) and being engaged in creative activities (48 percent). Just as on Bonaire, boys are significantly more likely to play video games and sports than girls. They also meet up with friends outside or at home more often. As for creative activities, there is hardly any difference between boys and girls, in contrast to their peers on Bonaire.

Girls on Saba in particular often feel bored

On Bonaire as well as on Saba, over one-quarter of 11 to 17-year-old VO and MBO students indicate that they often feel bored. Girls on Saba in particular say they frequently feel bored: 44 percent. This is more than twice as much as among boys, but also more than among girls on Bonaire (29 percent). It is mainly the group of 11 to 14-year-olds on Saba who get bored relatively often compared to their peers on Bonaire.

StatLine – Caribisch NL; vo en mbo scholieren, ervaren gezondheid en welzijn (vo and mbo students, perceived health and welfare)

StatLine – Caribisch NL; vo en mbo scholieren tot 18 jaar, tijdsbesteding (vo and mbo students to 17 years, time use)

Relevant links

StatLine – Jeugdmonitor StatLine Caribisch Nederland (StatLine: Youth Monitor StatLine Caribbean Netherlands):

Onderzoeksbeschrijving – Scholierenonderzoek Caribisch Nederland (research delineation- student survey Caribbean Netherlands)

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