Poverty in Germany

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 been increasing. Children are more likely to be poor than adults. There has been a strong increase in the number of poor children. In 1965 only one in 75 children lived on welfare, now one in 6 does. [ [http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/kinderreport2.html Report des Kinderhilfswerkes: Jedes sechste Kind lebt in Armut ] ]

Poverty rates differ by states. While in states like Bavaria only 6,6% of children and 3,9% of all citizens are poor in Berlin 15,2% of the inhabitants and 30,7% of the children receive welfare payments.

The German "Kinderhilfswerk", an Organization caring for children in need, has demanded the government to do something about this. [ [http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/kinderreport2.html Report des Kinderhilfswerkes: Jedes sechste Kind lebt in Armut ] ]

Consequences of poverty

Poor people in Germany are less likely to be healthy than well-off people. This correlates with statistics about the life style of this group that indicate higher prevalence to smoking cigarettes, being overweight, and exercising less. Consequently, they run a higher risk of experiencing lung cancer, hypertension, heart attacks, diabetes, and a number of other illnesses. [J. Winkler, Die Bedeutung der neueren Forschungen zur sozialen Ungleichheit der Gesundheit für die allgemeine Soziologie, in: Helmert u.a.: Müssen Arme früher sterben? Weinheim und München: Juventa] Those who are out of work are more likely to smoke, more likely to be hospitalized, and more likely to die early than the ones who work. [Gesundheitsberichterstattung des Bundes - Heft 13: Arbeitslosigkeit und Gesundheit, Februar 2003] Furhermore, 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. [Nietfeld/Becker (1999): Harte Zeiten für Familien. Theoretische Überlegungen und empirische Analysen zu Auswirkungen von Arbeitslosigkeit und sozio-ökonomischer Deprivation auf die Qualität familialer Beziehungen Dresdner Familien, Zeitschrift für Soziologie der Erziehung und Sozialisation 19; pp. 369-387]

Poor children face limited educational opportunities. According to a AWO-Study only 9% of the pupils visiting the Gymnasium are poor. [ [http://www.awo.org/pub/aktuell/presse/2005/pd-2005-12-01 AWO/ISS-Studie zur Kinderarmut in Deutschland] ] Poor 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 neighbourhoods and more likely to live in substandard apartments which are often overcrowded. They parents are likely to be less educated and they are more likely to have emotional problems. [Hans Weiß (Hrsg.): Frühförderung mit Kindern und Familien in Armutslagen. München/Basel: Ernst Reinhardt Verlag. ISBN 3-497-01539-3]

Children growing up poor are more likely to get involved in accidents than their non-poor peers. [Trabert, Gerhard: Kinderarmut: Zwei-Klassen-Gesundheit in Deutsches Ärzteblatt 2002; 99: A 93–95, Ausgabe 3] They are less likely to follow a healthy diet. [Richter, Antje: Armutsprävention – ein Auftrag für Gesundheitsförderung 2005, p. 205. In: Margherita Zander: Kinderarmut. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden, ISBN 3-531-14450-2] They are less likely to be healthy. In poor neighboorhoods many children suffer from speech impairments and stunted motoric development [UNICEF Deutschland: „Ausgeschlossen“ – Kinderarmut in Deutschland [http://www.unicef.de/3804.html] ] They tend to have lower IQs. [Roland Merten (2002): Psychosoziale Folgen von 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]

Poor children are more likely to get involved in criminal activities and are more likely to take drugs. [Christian Palentien (2004): Kinder- und Jugendarmut in Deutschland. Wiesbaden. VS – Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISBN 3-531-14385-9; pp. 218, 219] [ [https://www.helpster.de/news/ref-04efac262d26508532519b312900ce33.html Kinder- und Jugendärzte: Kinderarmut bekämpfen (28.09.2007)] retrieved 25.05.2008] However, many people who live in poverty overcome the odds and are doing very well. See: psychological resilience

Groups most likely to be poor

Working class families from ethnic minorities with multiple children are the group most likely to be poor. [Olaf Groh-Samberg: Armut verfestigt sich Wochenbericht der DIW Nr. 12/2007, 74. Jahrgang/21. März 2007] Families headed by a single parent are also 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. [ [http://www.boeckler-boxen.de/1559.htm Alleinerziehende Frauen kämpfen mit der Armut] retrieved 25.05.2008] 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. [ [http://www.ejh.de/uploads/tx_templavoila/sozialgipfel-kl.pdf Armut heisst es gibt nichts mehr] retrieved 25.05.2008]


ee also

* Social issues in Germany

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