• Germany edition
 
One fifth of young Germans live in poverty
Photo: DPA

One fifth of young Germans live in poverty

Published: 30 May 2014 13:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 May 2014 13:22 GMT+02:00

Germans may be seen as comparatively well-off by the rest of the continent, but the nation's youth are having an increasingly hard time, a new report suggests.

Every fifth teenager in Germany lives in poverty or is on the borderline, according to the Catholic church-funded youth poverty monitor 2014, released on Friday in the southern city of Regensburg.

The annual study, which brings together available statistics and research on young people aged 15 to 24, found that education played a key role in which youngsters would end up in poverty.

Typically those worse affected by youth poverty, the study found, were teenagers with leaving certificates from Hauptschule schools, the lowest rung on the academically-tiered German school system, or those who drop out early.

Education is the best protection against poverty, the report's authors concluded, however access to education in the country is far from equal.

Youth poverty was also more severe in particular areas of Germany.

In the capital Berlin, over 20 percent of young people are thought to be claiming Harz IV unemployment benefits.

In Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate however, there is less youth unemployment, all three states below the nationwide average of 8.9 percent.

This poverty occurs due to the absence of equal opportunities in the German education system, which often results in young people being excluded from society, explained Simon Rapp, Chairman of the Federal Association for Catholic Youth Welfare (BAG KJS), the organization which commissioned the study.

“Poverty is inherited and often passed on to generations from the parents to the children." Rapp said. "The risk of becoming poor and staying poor increases with a migrant background, disability and lack of education. Allowing this to happen is shameful for Germany.”

“Education and vocational training is too dependent on someone's social origin," he added.

"In order to prevent poverty from becoming purely an inherited problem, we need a right to education that is enshrined in law."

SEE ALSO: Every third child in Berlin lives off benefits

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Julie Colthorpe (julie.colthorpe@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'German' hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria
A screen grab from a jihadist video showing the grenades. Photo: DPA

'German' hand grenades paraded by Isis in Syria

The German military was on Wednesday investigating reports that Bundeswehr hand grenades have fallen into the hands of the Islamic State (Isis) terrorist group after a video appearing to show captured weapons surfaced on the Internet. READ  

North braces for storms and floods
Early signs of flooding at the Hamburg fish market on Wednesday morning.

North braces for storms and floods

The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. READ  

Indian schools drop German teaching
Indian pupils enrolled in German classes prepare for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to their school. Photo: DPA

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse. READ  

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt
A passenger plane landing at Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt

Three teenage girls from Colorado were arrested by German police at Frankfurt airport after running away from home, reportedly on their way to join Isis in Syria. READ  

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine
Tuesday night's rescue operation Photo: DPA

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine

Six people, including a family and two American tourists, were left dangling 40 metres in the air over the Rhine for hours late on Tuesday after Cologne's cable car came to a halt. READ  

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome
Arjen Robben celebrates the first goal against AS Roma. Photo: DPA

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome

Bayern Munich were elated on Tuesday night after seuring a 7-1 victory against Roma in their group stage Champions League clash. READ  

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast
A preserved World War II U-Boat on the beach near Kiel, Germany. Photo: DPA

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast

A World War II German U-boat and an American merchant vessel it sank in battle have been found deep in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, officials said on Tuesday. READ  

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

Opinion
Do German unions have too much power?
Lufthansa passengers rush to change their flights at Frankfurt Airport on Monday. Photo: DPA

Do German unions have too much power?

Germany's pilots and train drivers are taking it in turns to bring the country to a standstill with strikes that have cost the economy tens of millions of euros in the last two weeks. Are unions abusing their power or standing up for their rights? READ  

Older workers can have extra days off, court says
Photo: Workers in a German shoe factory. Photo: DPA

Older workers can have extra days off, court says

Older workers in Germany are allowed more time off than younger ones, a court ruled on Tuesday, saying the difference was not discriminatory. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,488
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd