• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

One fifth of young Germans live in poverty

Julie Colthorpe · 30 May 2014, 13:22

Published: 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.”

Story continues below…

“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 news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Julie Colthorpe (julie.colthorpe@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Chancellor Angela Merkel showing up French President François Hollande in a neighbourly battle of table manners. Photo: DPA.

Despite what stereotypes might have you believe, Germans aren't that different from the rest of us when it comes to social interactions. But these tips should at least help guide you through the minor quirks that come with your next dinner invitation.

Thugs' ‘dream cop’ in court for not investigating 100 cases
Fans at a VfL Bochum match set off flares. Photo: DPA

For three years a police officer in western Germany simply ignored many of the cases he was supposed to investigate. His trial started on Tuesday in Bochum.

Police arrest suspect in murder of Chinese student
Police secure the crime scene where Yanjie Lie's body was found on May 13th. Photo: DPA

Police have made an arrest in the case of a Chinese student murdered while she was out jogging a week ago, media reported on Tuesday.

Berlin thief shows heart in surprising act of kindness
Photo: DPA

Pickpockets are an ever more common phenomenon in the German capital. But sometimes they can surprise you.

Bayer's Monsanto bid
Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
An anti-Monsanto activist at a protest in Brandenburg in 2014. Photo: DPA

A proposed tie-up between Bayer and Monsanto has inflamed opinion in Germany where most people oppose genetically modified foods.

Why Greece is top of Germany's to-do list - again
Unemployed Greek workers with symbolically chained hands march on May 1st in Athens. Photo: DPA

Greece has been in the headlines more often this year for its front-line role in the refugee crisis than its finances – so just why is it top of Germany's agenda again all of a sudden?

Far-right AfD turns on itself over failed Muslim meeting
Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA

The co-leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany party has criticized his party colleagues after talks with Muslim leaders collapsed after just an hour on Monday.

Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
BMW's headquarters in Munich. Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital leaves other German cities in the dust when it comes to where the highest-valued companies choose to plant their flag.

Bavaria tries to coax migrants into police force
Joachim Herrmann (cr) with police recruits in Nuremberg. Photo: DPA

Bavaria’s interior ministry has started a campaign to encourage more migrants to join up as officers of the law - whether they have a German passport or not.

Extremist violence 'exploded' in record year for refugees
Left-wing violence at the Blockupy protest in Frankfurt in March 2015. Photo: DPA.

It is now official: 2015 smashed all records for political violence, as the far right attacked refugee homes and the far left responded by attacking them in turn, Interior Ministry figures show.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Business & Money
Surprise results give Germany strongest growth in two years
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
Munich
The bloody knife attack that shocked a Bavarian town
National
Supermarkets must pay massive fine for fixing beer prices
Sport
Lufthansa's Euro 2016 ad takes aim at England
Culture
The 6 German words you need to know for spring
Culture
6 weird and wonderful ways Germans celebrate May 1st
Gallery
Feast your eyes on Germany in springtime bloom
National
4/20: Five things to know about weed in Germany
Berlin
Police break up hipster swarm at vegan restaurant opening
Politics
Merkel allows Erdogan case against German satirist to go ahead
Travel
7 of Germany's most jaw-dropping national parks
Hamburg
Gay penguins move to Hamburg to settle down
Business & Money
See-through €5 coin has collectors lining up
Health
Vegan hemp powder recalled over fear toddlers getting high
7,703
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd