The life situation of children still depends heavily on their social background. This is indicated by the study Data Report 2018 – a Social Report for the Federal Republic of Germany. According to this, the chances of children gaining high educational qualifications increase when the parents themselves have a high level of education. Only just under one in ten high school students, on the other hand, have parents who have a secondary school diploma or no school diploma.
Children from homes with lower socioeconomic status, according to the study have worse chances to grow up healthy.
Overall, children in Germany are healthier than before. How healthy, however, depends heavily on the social status of the parents. About 30 percent of mothers with low socioeconomic status, according to the study, smoke during pregnancy. For mothers with high socioeconomic status, this figure is only 2 percent. Children and adolescents with low socioeconomic status are more likely to have mental health problems or behavioral problems. They also exercise less often, eat less healthy and are more often overweight, is the result of the study.
How good children are depends on the type of school they attend. Primary and secondary school students describe the school particularly often as stressful. Forty-three percent said there were very few things in the school that really pleased them. One in four felt the demands of the school as a whole burden. Children of other school types agreed to these statements much less frequently.
In the past 20 years, the number of children in Germany has fallen by 14 percent to 13.4 million. More than a third of them have a migration background. These children are much more likely to be at risk of poverty. Despite the good economic situation, the proportion of children at risk of poverty did not decline recently, but remained at 15 percent. Most at risk of poverty are children with single mothers or fathers.
„Poverty in children means material deprivation, but poverty and the risk of poverty also lead to social exclusion, poorer health, poorer educational opportunities and overall less participation in society,“ said Thomas Krüger, President of the German Children’s Fund, during the presentation of the data report. He pointed out that, according to data collection, almost every sixth minor in Germany is at risk of poverty.
The data report is published by the Federal Agency for Civic Education in cooperation with the Federal Statistical Office, the Social Science Research Center Berlin and the Socio-Economic Panel at the German Institute for Economic Research.