Federal statistical office: The risk of poverty increases only in West Germany

In a rich country like Germany, poverty is a highly sensitive topic. The basic question, "How many people in Germany are poor, anyway?" flares up regularly ar

Federal statistical office: The risk of poverty increases only in West Germany

In a rich country like Germany, poverty is a highly sensitive topic. The basic question, "How many people in Germany are poor, anyway?" flares up regularly armed, because poverty is not so easily measured.

Christoph Schäfer

editor responsible for economic and financial Affairs Online.

F. A. Z. Twitter

In principle, there are two options: to answer the question, can you use absolute values. The world Bank, for example, defines those people as extremely poor, with less than $ 1.90 a day. This is not to say that extremely poor people are able to buy on a daily basis the amount of goods that would cost in the United States is $ 1.90. This $ 1.90 is a financial Minimum that a Person needs to Survive.

In the affluent societies of the West, the Standards are higher. The basic law about writes in article 1 that the Dignity of man is inviolable. This Would also be the ability to adequately participate in society according to the case law and common sense. For $ 1.90, are not enough in Germany of the day.

Therefore, care is taken in developed industrial countries, especially on the level of relative poverty. It is deemed to be "at risk of poverty", who has less than 60 percent of the median income of the total population. For Germany this means: Two adults with two children under 14 years of age were able to spend in the year 2018, less than 2385 per month.

Surprise: Less arms in the East

this Thursday the Federal Statistical office has published new Figures on the poverty rate. Accordingly, the relative poverty in the years has increased from 2009 to 2019 in all Western Federal States and in Berlin. The strongest rate rose in Bremen; in the city-state in the North, they increased by 4.8 percentage points to 24.9 percent. With other words: In Bremen, every fourth inhabitant is poor, or at least threatened with poverty.

in Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia increased the risk to slip into poverty, more than 3 percentage points to 16.1, or 18.5 percent. The nation's sharpest decline in Mecklenburg, in contrast, reported-Western Pomerania, from 23.1 percent in 2009 to 19.4 percent in 2019.

In all Eastern German States, the situation improved. Especially sharply it declined in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Here, the ratio declined from 23.1% to 19.4 percent. Overall, about 16 percent of the population in Germany is at risk of poverty.

However, there is the relative measurement of poverty regularly criticism. One of the main arguments is: Would you double of all the people in Germany, the income (and the prices are the same), would be, according to this methodology, still the same number of people at risk of poverty as before.

Updated Date: 13 August 2020, 06:20

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