Poverty in Germany reaches new record high


Poverty in Germany reaches new record high

Elisabeth Zimmermann

20 March 2017

The welfare organisation Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband presented its latest report on poverty in Germany at the beginning of March. According to this study, poverty in Germany reached a new record high in 2015, at 15.7 percent, with 12.9 million people live in poverty.

The figures, presented by Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband and nine other organisations, show a sharp rise in poverty rates in several regions. At the same time, the report makes clear that the rate at which poverty is rising is accelerating.

Poverty rose most of all in Berlin, from 20 to 22.4 percent compared to the previous year. The highest rate, 24.8 percent, is in Bremen, where almost one in four people is poor. Overall, the percentage of the population living in poverty has increased in 11 of the 16 states compared to the previous year. In all of the states of eastern Germany, poverty rates are either slightly under or over 20 percent.

For the first time, the association presented comparisons over a 10-year period for poverty rates in the states, certain regions and cities, according to figures from the Federal Agency for Statistics. Poverty rose most rapidly in North Rhine-Westphalia, from 14.4 percent in 2005 to 17.5 percent in 2015.

In the Ruhr region, poverty rose during this period by 24.7 percent, from 16.2 percent in 2005 to 20.2 percent in 2015. The cities with the highest percentage increase in poverty are also in the Ruhr region. In Dortmund, poverty rose from 18.6 percent in 2005 to 25.7 percent in 2015; in Duisburg from 17 to 26.6 percent; and even in the state’s capital Düsseldorf, where substantial wealth and riches are concentrated, it rose from 13.8 to 18.3 percent.

The authors labelled Berlin and the Ruhr…

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