Children of parents with a migration background perform better at school if they have a Dutch passport in their pocket. This is evident from research conducted by PhD student Marie Labussière. She studied more than 287,000 second generation children, who were born in the Netherlands, but not their parents. The parents of the children in the study group came to the Netherlands at a later age from, for example, Turkey, Morocco or the former Yugoslavia. At birth, their children do not receive the Dutch nationality, but inherit it from their parents. Until they turn 18, they can only naturalize as Dutch citizens if their parents do the same.
The second-generation children who already had a Dutch nationality scored significantly higher on the Cito test in group 8 than children who were also born in the Netherlands, but did not yet have a Dutch nationality. They also more often progressed to higher levels after elementary school than their non-naturalized peers. It turned out that it was not only important whether the children had a Dutch passport, but also the age at which they received it. The younger they were at the time of naturalization, the better their school results. Within families as well, the younger the child obtained the passport, the better the school results.
The greatest gains appeared to be among children of parents with low socioeconomic status, and if they received the passport before they entered elementary school.
The possible explanation for this is twofold. The child gains more self-confidence and feels more connected to society. At the same time, the child benefits from the citizenship of the parents, who, according to Labussière, have a better chance of finding a job or a home with their new passport.
Source: The Volkskrant Kim Bakker 4 November 2021