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One in four German families live below poverty line

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One in four German families live below poverty line
Photo: DPA
13:36 CEST+02:00
The number of German families facing destitution is rising, as one out of every four households live below the poverty line, according to a new survey.

At least 26 percent of Germans do not earn enough money to sufficiently support themselves, a significant rise from 13.5 percent in 2003, German magazine Der Spiegel reports in its latest issue.

The survey conducted by the Sozio-ökonomische Panel, or Social Economic Board of Germany, studied the income of specific households between 1984 and 2007, and showed that every fifth German earns less than half of an average citizen's income.

The German employment ministry made no comment on the figures this weekend, but a spokeswoman said an official report on standards of living will be carried out and presented later this year. Ministers will then discuss the rise in poverty across the country.

The first official German employment and income survey was conducted in 2000, and again in March 2005. Results showed that a total of 11 million Germans were poverty stricken at the end of 2003.

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