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Germany/ One in six people are at risk of poverty

Germany/ One in six people are at risk of poverty

The number of people at risk of poverty in Germany fell only slightly in 2021. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office, last year around 13 million people were at risk of poverty. This corresponds to 15.8 percent of the population and approximately one in six citizens living in Germany. In 2020, this figure was 16.1 percent with 13.2 million people.

According to the EU definition, a person is considered at risk of poverty when they have less than 60 percent of the average income of the entire population. In 2021, this threshold was €15,009 net per year for a person living alone in Germany, and €31,520 net for two adults with two children under the age of 14.

Problematic view of the social situation in Germany

Depending on the type of family, the number of people living in single-parent households and people living alone and at risk of poverty is significantly higher than the national average. In 2021, more than a quarter of people living in single-parent households (26.6%) were at risk of poverty. For people living alone, this figure was 26.8 percent.

Germany/ One in six people are at risk of poverty
For people living in families consisting of two adults and one child (9.0%) or with two children (11.4%) as well as for families consisting of two adults without children (11.5%), the poverty risk rate in in 2021 was lower than the national average.

In contrast, people living in a two-adult household with three or more children had an at-risk-of-poverty rate of 23.6 percent, significantly higher than the national average. At 16.2 percent, children and youth in Germany were more at risk of poverty than average.

Last year, based on the prevailing activity status of persons aged 18 and over, almost one in two persons was at risk of poverty in the unemployed group, or 47.0 percent. On the other hand, this proportion was only 8.6% among those who performed a professional activity.


One in five pensioners is at risk of poverty

For retirees, the at-risk-of-poverty rate was 19.3 percent. Among women aged 65 and over, the risk of poverty was significantly higher in 2021 (21.0%) than among men in the same age group (17.4%). The lower income of women compared to men is explained, for example, by the interruption of the professional career and thus by the lower pension rights, explained the Federal Statistical Office. A total of 16.5 percent of women and 15.1 percent of men were at risk of poverty in 2021.