About two million children in Germany live in poverty. And the numbers are growing: compared to 2011, 52, 000 children are now falling below the poverty line.
Holidays, toys, recreational classes, a private room and well-balanced meals - which is everyday life for many people, mean at the same time unrealizable luxury for other families. The alarming figures result from a recent Federal Employment Agency statistics and refer to children whose families depend on state aid - SGB II. That's not all: the parents of currently almost 15 percent of the children and adolescents under the age of 18 living in Germany live from Hartz IV. It is noticeable here that half of these families are single parents. Particularly affected are families with three or more children.
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This is by no means a short-term situation: 57 percent of children between the ages of seven and fifteen - or their parents - have been receiving state help for at least three years.
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Child poverty varies regionally
It is also noticeable that the numbers fluctuate regionally. For example, child poverty in eastern Germany seems to be declining and rising sharply in the west. Overall, the proportion of children under the age of 18 in SGB-II families is even higher in the East. For example, the percentage in Berlin has fallen from 33.7 to 32.3 - which means that still one third of the children living in Berlin suffer from poverty. This idea is terrifying - and currently a reality.
Another study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, which was established in cooperation with the Institute for Social Work and Social Education, provides critical results for the effects of growing poverty: Children from poor backgrounds are more likely to be socially isolated, under-served and also impaired in their health. Measures against child poverty are therefore absolutely necessary - nevertheless, they seem to be fruitless so far. Politicians must continue to seek new ways to combat child poverty in Germany in the long term.
New family allowance is meant to relieve mothers part-time