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Hundreds of thousands more children at risk of poverty, official report shows

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Hundreds of thousands more children at risk of poverty, official report shows
Photo: DPA
16:00 CEST+02:00
The Familienreport for 2017 shows an increase in child poverty rates to 2.8 million, with those from migrant backgrounds particularly affected.

According to an economic report, published on Friday by the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, the number of children threatened by poverty in Germany rose by around 200,000 between 2010 and 2015.

Two years ago 20% of children in Germany were threatened by poverty, constituting a rise of 1.5 percentage points over five years.

The report found that a total of 2.8 million under-eighteens were living in households with an income per person of less than 60% of the national average.

A crucial factor behind this development has been the influx of migrant children over the past few years.

Among children who arrived in Germany as migrants, the risk of living in poverty rose from 36% to 49% during the time period in question. Meanwhile the fraction of children without a migratory background threatened by poverty remained at a constant of around 13% since 2010.

Alongside families with a migratory background, single parent homes are a group which also commonly struggle to meet living costs, with around half of children from a single parent household at risk. Single mothers, in particular, must work approximately five extra hours a week compared to the national average.

According to the Familienreport, children from two parent families where both parents are in some way employed are ten times less likely to be affected by poverty than households with only one parent working. 

Minister for Family Affairs, Katarina Barley (SPD), made a statement advocating for the government to invest in facilities which allow a better mix between work and family life.

"Every euro which we invest in good kindergartens, schools and after-school clubs is returned multiple times over," she said.

Affordable offers for school children during afternoons could help mothers get back to work, she said, adding that "therefore we need to give all the primary school age children the right to all-day care."

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