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Poverty in GermanyPoverty in Germany has many faces: No longer being able to pay the rent. Going without a vacation because the salary is not enough. Turning over every penny three times and simply not being able to afford the co-payment for dentures.

By Claudia Heidenfelder

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Poverty in numbers

According to the 5. According to the Federal Government's Poverty and Wealth Report of 2017, 15.7 percent of the population live in poverty or on the poverty line. That is just under 13 million people. By way of comparison: In 2002, 12.7 percent of the population in Germany were still considered poor.

Poverty in Germany is growing. Sick and old people, low-wage earners and the unemployed, large families and single parents are particularly affected. Social welfare organizations are particularly critical of the poverty rate among children, which at 19.7 percent is significantly higher than the average for the population.

The risk of poverty in Germany is growing

What does "relatively poor" mean??

In a wealthy country like Germany, "relative poverty" is the term used the talk: Anyone in this country who owns significantly less than the average is poor. Relative poverty usually refers to income. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a person as poor if his or her monthly income is less than half of the average income of his or her country.

People who live on less than 60 percent of the average income are already at risk of poverty. Accordingly, in Germany, the poverty line in 2018 for an adult living alone was an income of 1135 euros per month.

Such statistical poverty thresholds are controversial, because so-called income poverty only inadequately reflects social status. Factors such as level of education or social network also play a major role. However relative poverty is described: It is about the unequal distribution of opportunities to participate in social life.

Many people have to turn over every penny

Poor people die earlier

In contrast to relative poverty, absolute poverty threatens physical existence. People who can spend less than one US dollar per day are considered absolutely poor. Although no one in Germany has to suffer from hunger. Nevertheless, poverty endangers life and health here as well. Poor people in Germany are more frequently affected by illness. have a significantly lower life expectancy. A study by the Robert Koch Institute has shown that poor people die earlier than the average: women by eight years, men even by almost eleven years earlier.

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