According to a study by the Institute for Economic and Social Sciences (WSI) of the trade union-affiliated Hans Böckler Foundation, poverty in Germany has increased significantly over the past decade. The proportion of very poor people who have less than 50 percent of the middle income at their disposal increased by a good 40 percent between 2010 and 2019, reported the WSI in its 2022 distribution report published on Thursday. And there is much to suggest that the corona Pandemic, the explosion in energy prices and high inflation would have exacerbated this development in the years that followed.

“In 2019, more people in Germany were affected by poverty than ever before,” summarized the authors of the distribution report, Dorothee Spannagel and Aline Zucco, the result of the study. Although the past decade has been characterized by good economic development and falling unemployment, poor households have not benefited from this. They fell even further behind. The poverty gap – i.e. the amount that is missing for an average poor household to mathematically leave the poverty line behind – has increased from 2968 euros in 2010 to 3912 euros in 2019.