Poverty in Germany

Poverty in Germany refers to people living in relative poverty in Germany .

During the last decades the number of people living in poverty has increased. Children are more likely to be poor than adults. There has been a growth in the number of poor children. In 1965 only one in 75 children lived on welfare, in 2007 one in 6 did. [1]

Poverty rates differ by states. While in 2005 in the United States, only 6.6% of children and 3.9% of all citizens were impoverished, in Berlin. 15.2% of the inhabitants and 30.7% of the children received welfare payments. [2]

The German Kinderhilfswerk , an organization caring for children in need, has asked the government to do something about the poverty problem.

As of 2015, poverty in Germany is at its highest since German reunification in 1990 . Some 12.5 million Germans are now classified as poor. [3]

Bundesland (state) Children on the Wealth Rolls (percent of all children, in 2005) Persons on the Wealth Rolls (percent of all persons, in 2005)
Bavaria 6.6% 3.9%
Baden-Württemberg 7.2% 4.1%
Rhineland-Palatinate 9.9% 5.5%
Hesse 12.0% 6.5%
Lower Saxony 13.5% 7.6%
North Rhine-Westphalia 14.0% 8.1%
Saarland 14.0% 7.4%
Schleswig-Holstein 14.4% 8.2%
Hamburg 20.8% 10.6%
Thuringia 20.8% 10.4%
Brandenburg 21.5% 12.0%
Saxony 22.8% 11.8%
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 27.8% 14.9%
Saxony-Anhalt 27.9% 14.2%
Bremen 28.1% 13.8%
Berlin 30.7% 15.2%
[4] , [5]


[ hide ]

  • 1Poverty in the postwar period
  • 2Consequences of poverty
  • 3Groups most likely to be poor
  • 4References
  • 5See also

Poverty in the postwar period

During the postwar period, many years of rising affluence in West Germans continued to live in poverty. In 1972, a study by the SPES estimated that between 1.5 million people (more than 2% of the population) were living below the state’s poverty line. In 1975, a report on poverty published by a politician called Heiner Geissler estimated that 5.8 million people lived below the public assistance levels. As the opening sentence of the report

„Poverty, a long theme since thought dead, is an oppressive reality for millions of people.“

The report also estimates that workers and employees are more likely than others to be poor. [6]

A study by Frank Klanberg of SPES found that if the poverty line is redefined to include an allowance for housing costs based on a minimum of the minimum in 1969 would have risen from 1% to 3% and these below 150% of the minimum from 10% to 16%. [6]

According to another study, 2% of households in West Germany lived in severe poverty (defined as 40% of average living standards), over 7% were in moderate poverty and 16% lived in „mild“ poverty (defined as 60% of average living standards). A study carried out by the EC Poverty Program derived from a figure for 1973 of 6.6%, using a poverty line of 50% of disposable income. [7]

Nevertheless, findings by SPES and DIW suggest that low-income countries are relatively better off than in most other Western countries, with the share of the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom. United States. [6]

Consequences of poverty

Poor people in Germany are less likely to be healthy than well-off people. This correlates with statistics of smoking, being overweight, and exercising less. Consequently, they have a higher risk of experiencing lung cancer, hypertension, heart attacks, diabetes, and a number of other illnesses. [8] Those who are more likely to smoke, more likely to be hospitalized, and more likely to die early than the ones who work. [9] Moreover, poverty has been shown to have a negative impact on marital satisfaction. Poor couples are more likely to argue, while being less supportive for each other and their children. [10]

Poor children face limited educational opportunities. According to an AWO-Study only 9% of the students visiting the Gymnasium are poor. [11] Children are likely to experience adversities beyond money. They are more likely to be raised by a teenage parent. They are more likely to have multiple young siblings, are more likely to be raised in crime-ridden neighborhoods and more likely to live in substandard apartments which are often overcrowded. Their parents are likely to be less educated and they are more likely to have emotional problems. [12]

Children growing up are more likely to get involved in accidents than their non-poor peers. [13] They are less likely to follow a healthy diet. [14] They are less likely to be healthy. In poor neighborhoods many children [15] They tend to have lower IQs. [16]

Poor children are more likely to get involved. [17] [18] However, many people who live in poverty face the odds and are doing very well. See: psychological resilience

Most likely to be poor

Working-class families of ethnic minorities [19] Families headed by a single parent are more likely to experience economic hardship than others. While only 0.9% of childless couples and 2.0% of married couples received welfare in 2002, 26.1% of single mothers did. [20] In 2008, 43 percent of families headed for a household income. [21] A change in social laws, which was made impossible to receive unemployment benefits. Poverty rates are high among people who did not graduate from school and did not learn a trade. 42% of poor people did not learn a trade. [22]


  1. Jump up^ „Sozialhilfe: Kinderarmut nimmt zu“. Focus. 15.11.2007
  2. Jump up^ „Poverty in Germany“. World Socialist Website. Retrieved 2014-13-05.
  3. Jump up^ http://www.dw.com/en/poverty-in-germany-at-its-highest-since-reunification/a-18268757
  4. Jump up^ ZEFIR-Datenpool: Leistungsempfänger / -innen von Arbeitslosengeld II and Sozialgeld nach SGB II Juni 2005
  5. Jump up^ ZEFIR-Datenpool: Leistungsempfänger / -innen von Sozialgeld nach SGB II im Alter von unter 15 Jahren im Juni 2005
  6. ^ Jump up to:c Poverty and Inequality in Common Market Countries edited by Victor George and Roger Lawson
  7. Jump up^ The Federal Republic of Germany: The End of an Era edited by Eva Kolinsky
  8. Jump up^ J. Winkler, Die Bedeutung der neueren Forschungen zur sozialen Ungleichheit der Gesundheit für die allgemeine Soziologie, in: Helmert ua: Müssen Weapon früher sterben? Weinheim und München: Juventa
  9. Jump up^ Gesundheitsberichterstattung of the Bundes – Heft 13: Arbeitslosigkeit und Gesundheit, Februar 2003
  10. Jump up^ Nietfeld / Becker (1999): Harte Zeiten für Familien. Theoretische Überlegungen und empirische Analysen zu Auswirkungen von Arbeitslosigkeit und sozio-ökonomischer Deprivation auf die Qualität familierer Beziehungen Dresdner Familien, Zeitschrift für Soziologie der Erziehung und Sozialisation 19; pp. 369-387
  11. Jump up^ AWO / ISS-Study of Kinderarmut in Deutschland
  12. Jump up^ Hans Weiß (Hrsg.): Frühförderung mit Kindern und Familien in Armutslagen. München / Basel: Ernst Reinhardt Verlag. ISBN 3-497-01539-3
  13. Jump up^ Trabert, Gerhard: Kinderarmut: Zwei-Klassen-Gesundheit in Deutsches Ärzteblatt 2002; 99: A 93-95, Ausgabe 3
  14. Jump up^ Richter, Antje: Armutsprävention – ein Auftrag für Gesundheitsförderung 2005, p. 205. In: Margherita Zander: Kinderarmut. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden,ISBN 3-531-14450-2
  15. Jump up^ UNICEF Deutschland: „Ausgeschlossen“ – Kinderarmut in Deutschland
  16. Jump up^ Roland Merten (2002): Psychosoziale Folgen of Armut im Kindes- und Jugendalter. In Christoph Butterwegge, Michael Klundt (Hrsg.): Kinderarmut und Generationengerechtigkeit. Opladen: Leske und Budrich,ISBN 3-8100-3082-1, p. 149
  17. Jump up^ Christian Palentien (2004): Kinder- und Jugendarmut in Deutschland. Wiesbaden. VS – Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften,ISBN 3-531-14385-9; pp. 218, 219
  18. Jump up^ Kinder- und Jugendärzte: Kinderarmut bekämpfen (28.09.2007)retrieved 25.05.2008
  19. Jump up^ Olaf Groh-Samberg: Armut verfestigt sich Wochenbericht der DIW Nr. 12/2007, 74. Jahrgang / 21. March 2007
  20. Jump up^ Alleinerziehende Frauen kämpfen mit der Armutretrieved 25.05.2008
  21. Jump up^ (in German)Focus, 1 December 2008, „Alleinerziehende: 43 Prozent bekommen Hartz IV“
  22. Jump up^ Armut heisst gibt nichts mehrretrieved 25 May 2008