NewsPoverty in Germany: These results may shock you

Poverty in Germany: These results may shock you

Olaf Scholz and Angela Merkel
Olaf Scholz and Angela Merkel
Images source: © Getty Images | 2020 Pool
ed. NST
4:19 PM EST, December 9, 2023

German authorities have unveiled city maps that vividly illustrate the country's struggle with poverty, as reported by

An analysis by the Center for Social Science Research in Berlin (WZB) shows the southern regions of Germany as heavily "mixed", suggesting significant poverty. This social mapping of 153 German cities relied on data from city statistics and the Federal Employment Agency.

Growing economic divide in Germany

The disparity between individuals living on state benefits and those supporting themselves has deepened from 2005 to 2022. This sharp contrast is most noticeable in cities with high levels of social segregation, like Schwerin, Halle, and Kiel. The division between precast concrete block estates and city centers, and suburbs is deepening.

In northern German cities, although segregation is high, the pace of development is slower. However, in the cities of the Ruhr Region, a consistent escalation in poverty levels was recorded from 2013 to 2020.

Germany's urgent search for solutions

"There is an ongoing debate about the state of the economy in Germany. Yet, German authorities have traditionally been reserved about fiscal spending, and this economic conservatism holds steady," notes a representative from the Polish Economic Institute.

The German Ministry of Economy echoes this sentiment. Commenting on September's data, the department stated that the industrial production has yet to regain its footing. It also acknowledged that a substantial resurgence of industrial production is not in sight.

Meanwhile, business bankruptcy data, even if they’re confined to specific regions, are causing concern. The Federal Statistical Office in Wiesbaden reported that business bankruptcy filings increased by 23.8 percent from the previous month in July. The number of companies filing for bankruptcy has been on a steady rise since August 2022.

As a remedy, Chancellor Olaf Scholz introduced a 10-point package in late August, aimed at revitalizing the national economy. The plan, estimated to cost approximately 7.67 billion dollars annually, includes proposed tax relief mainly for small and medium-sized businesses. According to recent forecasts by the International Monetary Fund, Germany is predicted to be the only large European economy that will contract, with a projected shrinkage of 0.3 percent this year.

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