Skip to Content

German poverty hits record highs

Despite low unemployment, German poverty has hit record highs.

Published: March 8, 2017, 10:35 am

    Read more

    A new report revealed that more Germans are poorer now than at any time since reunification.

    And the number of German pensioners below the Equal Welfare Association’s poverty line has risen by an alarming 49 percent in a decade.

    Wolfram Friedersdorf, head of the People’s Solidarity Association, called it an “avalanche” of old-age poverty. Regions most affected by hardship for the aged, were Berlin and the Ruhr region of North Rhine-Westphalia.

    “With 15.7 percent of Germans in poverty, we have unfortunately reached a high point since reunification,” Ulrich Schneider, head of the Equal Welfare Association, said last week.

    The Association says that 12.9 million people in Germany were living below the poverty barrier in 2015, and in 2005, 14.7 percent of Germans were living below the level.

    “Economic developments have not been reducing poverty for a long time,” Schneider pointed out.

    The figures are based on official figures from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) which records the proportion of the population with an income less than 60 percent of that of the median German household.

    While Destatis classifies people below the 60 percent mark as “threatened by poverty”, the Equal Welfare Association’s describes them as poor.

    More worrying too is that the increase in poverty comes despite years of falling unemployment figures.

    In February, unemployment in Germany registred an all-time low, official data showed las week, at 5.9 percent – the same level as in January and its lowest level since German reunification in 1990.

    Last year Passauer Neue Presse reported figures collected by the EU statistics agency Eurostat, showing a marked increase in old-age poverty.

    Some 5.6 million residents over 55 were living in poverty or affected by social marginalization. This is a stark increase – nearly 25 percent – from a decade ago, when the number stood at 4.5 million.

    The unemployed and single parents were both particularly vulnerable to poverty, according to the Equal Welfare Association report.

    A third of all foreigners lived in poverty, while a quarter of all families with three or more children faced this hardship.

    At 20.7 percent, the rate of poverty among the elderly in Germany is far above that of the Netherlands, which has just 11.9 percent of its elderly population in dire financial woes.

    “Poverty is spreading all over Germany,” said Sabine Zimmerman, a member of parliament with the opposition Left party who analyzed the statistics. “Fighting poverty requires an all-encompassing plan that the current government doesn’t appear to be concerned about.”

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Putin bravely dons hazmat suit to visit Covid-19 patients in Moscow

    MoscowPresident Vladimir Putin donned a yellow hazmat suit to explain to the public the emergency measures taken by the Russian government.

    Italian infections on the rise again despite curfews

    RomeAfter a few days of decline, the number of new cases in Italy have increased again. Wednesday's rise in the number of dead were 683, while on Tuesday the rise was 743. The number of confirmed cases in the US has however surpassed China and Italy to become the largest outbreak in the world.

    How the East fights against the Coronavirus

    MoscowEurope currently appears to be drowning in chaos and dysfunction when it comes to the fight against the Coronavirus. But how is Russia handling the challenge right now?

    Italy faces new emergency as it runs out of disinfectants

    RomeIt will no longer be possible to disinfect hospitals, ambulances, public transport and schools. The League has urged the EU to step in. "The government and Europe must intervene as soon as possible."

    Immigrants revolt against confinement in France, Germany

    ParisWhile drastic containment measures came into effect on March 17 at noon in France, carelessness and incivility persist in the immigrant districts of Paris. The police dispatched on the spot are exasperated with the inhabitants.

    Famous virologist explains risky ‘logic’ of herd immunity

    A virologist twice nominated for the Nobel Prize explains the British strategy of "herd immunity" claiming it may have a logical explanation, but is still too risky.

    Italian specialist: Three diseases that invite risk faced with the Coronavirus

    RomeIt seems that there are no more doubts since the data are clear: The mortality from Covid-19 is higher "for hypertensive patients, patients with cardiac arrhythmias, diabetics and patients with cardiovascular diseases".

    Dutch research team first to discover Covid-19 antibodies

    RotterdamThe first drug capable of attacking and neutralizing the Coronavirus could be ready for experimentation after a group of Dutch researchers discovered an antibody.

    Italy asks for more respirators but EU countries refuse

    BrusselsIn the teleconference between the 27 health ministers, Italy raised the alarm. But none of the "allies" responded.

    Muslim Brotherhood takes root in the Netherlands

    The HagueThe Rotterdam mosque De Middenweg and the Amsterdam Blue Mosque are in the grip of the Muslim Brotherhood. This was the message from the terror expert and investigator Ronald Sandee this week during his testimony in the Dutch lower house of parliament on unwanted foreign influence in Islamic institutions.

    Go to archive