'Less than half' of families in Germany feel positive about their finances

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'Less than half' of families in Germany feel positive about their finances
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A new survey published by Germany's Ministry for Family Affairs assessed the mood of parents amid rising living costs. Single parents, in particular, are feeling the strain.


Growing concerns about inflation and the general economic situation are weighing on many families in Germany, according to an annual survey which assesses the mood among parents in the Bundesrepublik.

Only 43 percent of parents with underage children still rate their economic situation positively, according to the newest "Family Barometer" published by the Ministry for Family Affairs.

A full 45 percent said "it’s okay” (“es geht”), whereas twelve percent saw their situation as "quite bad" or "bad".

According to the Allensbach Institute, which was responsible for the survey, the rating worsened significantly over the course of last year.

Seventy percent of parents with children under the age of 18 said in December 2022 that inflation placed a strong personal burden on them, while 47 percent felt price rises were “severely restricting” their everyday lives.

READ ALSO: Why inflation is on the rise again in Germany

Unsurprisingly among lower and middle class families, the vast majority saw themselves as "personally burdened" by inflation, which reached as high as 10 percent in 2022 and still hovers around 8.7 percent. The figure sat at 42 percent among higher earning families.

There are currently 8.24 million families with underage children in Germany, according to the Family Ministry, forty percent of which have at least one parent with a migration background.


Single parents hit the hardest

According to the survey, single parents in particular rated their financial situation critically. A full 93 percent, according to the survey, are "very concerned" about inflation.

According to the Family Barometer, the lower the household income, the greater the additional burden on families.

Low-earning single parents, for example, would have to pay more than seven percent of their household income for inflation-related price increases. 

In comparison, couples with children in the upper-income quartile have to fork out over 4.5 percent of their income in order to cover rising costs.

Hopeful about state support

The survey also showed that the population as a whole, and parents in particular, have high expectations that the German welfare state will counteract inequality and promote good starting opportunities for all children.

According to the survey, 70 percent of the population expected current family policies to reduce child poverty. 


A full 60 percent of the population as a whole support the introduction of a basic child allowance (Kindergrundsicherung), which would provide more financial support for families without the current bureaucracy involved in applying for it.

READ ALSO: More money and less bureaucracy: How Germany wants to change its child benefits system

Among parents of children under 18, the figure is as high as 75 percent.

Family Minister Lisa Paus (Greens) has said that she wants to invest, among other things, in a reliable and good childcare infrastructure and implement the Kindergrundsicherung.

With the basic child allowance, the coalition government wants to bundle benefits from the current child benefit (Kindergeld) and child supplement (Kinderzuschlag) with financial support for school trips and other activities. All benefits could be applied for in one online application. 

Paus' plans for a basic child allowance are, however, controversial within the coalition because of its costs. It is planned that from 2024 onward, children will receive more state support, which Paus estimates will cost Germany an extra 12 million per year.


Lower class - (die) Unterschicht

Counteract - entgegenwirken

Single parents - (die) Alleinerziehende

Class trips - (die) Klassenfahrten

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