Risk of poverty: Gelsenkirchen occupies a sad first position

Gelsenkirchen.
Sad negative record: in no other German city besides Bremerhaven is the risk of child poverty higher by around 42% than in Gelsenkirchen.

  • When it comes to child poverty statistics, Gelsenkirchen takes a sad first place.
  • A sad negative record: in no other city in Germany, apart from Bremerhaven, is the risk of child poverty as high as in Gelsenkirchen.
  • Overall, 20.2% of those under 18 in Germany are at risk of poverty. In Gelsenkirchen it is around 42%.

In Germany, one in five children is still at risk of poverty. In 2020, 20.2 percent of those under the age of 18 were at risk of poverty. This is what emerges from the latest report from the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs. And: In no other city in Germany, apart from Bremerhaven, is the risk of poverty for children about 42% higher than in Gelsenkirchen.

In the European Union, people are considered at risk of poverty if they have less than 60 percent of the median income in their country. More recently, it was € 1,126 for singles, € 1,463 for single parents with a small child and € 2,364 for a couple family with two small children.

More than 40 percent of those under the age of 15 in Gelsenkirchen receive social benefits

People in receipt of social benefits (SGB II) have even less money at their disposal. According to the Gelsenkirchen administration, the SGB II rate of children under the age of 18 in Gelsenkirchen (as of October 2021) was 39.5%, “that’s 18,309 children who are eligible for benefits,” explains city spokesman Martin Schulmann .


The rate is even higher when looking at the group of children under the age of 15. Here the social benefit rate (as of December 31, 2020) is 41.08 percent, or 16,618 children. 8550 (29.37%) children are German, 8068 (71.19%) are not German.


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The best-known German researcher on poverty and inequality, Cologne professor Christoph Butterwegge, does not believe these figures are sufficient to paint an accurate picture. The famous political scientist believes it is essential to break down the SGB II quotas into smaller areas based on age groups and districts. “Child poverty indicators are also the families that receive youth assistance services, the size of the apartments or the number of pediatricians in the individual districts”.

The Westphalian Association of Medical Examiners of Health Insurance Lippe described pediatric care as “good at the moment”. The KVWL announced that it was not possible for her to divide it by districts. The pediatric care level for Gelsenkirchen is currently 110.3%. Statistically, 19 pediatricians work here.

Child poverty Gelsenkirchen: high rates of social benefits in all age groups

Child poverty is a problem that has not arisen only today. It is a downward spiral that has been going on for many years. This is demonstrated by data from the Bremen Institute for Labor Market Research and Youth Employment Assistance. The institute has completely split the SGB II quotas nationwide. Butterwegge provided this data (as of August 2019) for this report. According to this, in Gelsenkirchen the age group up to three years represented 42.6%, between three and six years it was 44.7%, between six and 15 years 42.3% and between 15 and 18 34.3% years.

Eight of the 15 districts (exclusively independent cities) with the highest U18 SGB II fares were cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, including many municipalities in the Ruhr area such as Gelsenkirchen, Duisburg, Essen, Herne, Hagen and Dortmund. Butterwegge describes the Ruhr area, in which he grew up himself, as “the home of the poor of the republic”.

Central and southern districts: “Poverty is often the norm”

The beatlas for the participation of city children in Gelsenkirchen also give an impression of this. The most negative values ​​of the economic situation index are found in Neustadt, the western part of Bulmke-Hüllen, Altstadt, Schalke-Nord, Schalke-Ost, Ückendorf-North and Rotthausen-West with social assistance quotas of at least 54-62 percent. All of these districts are located in the districts of Mitte and Süd. “Poverty and reliance on transfer payments are often the norm here,” the report said.

On the contrary, the children of Buer-Ost experience by far the greatest possibilities for participation. Overall, the economic situation for children here is relatively very positive. Only 9.9 percent of children under the age of 15 and 8.6 percent of those under the age of seven receive social benefits. Beckhausen-Nordwest and Buer-Zentrum are in second and third place. However, the social benefit rates here are already twice as high as in Buer-Ost.

As a result, there are very few opportunities for children to participate in Neustadt, Schalke-West and Schalke-Nord. The children of Bulmke-Hüllen-Nord, Bulmke-Hüllen-Süd, Ückendorf-Nord, Rotthausen-Ost, Rotthausen-West and Schalke-Ost have little opportunity to participate. As in the previous 2015 report, Neustadt recorded the most negative index values ​​in the field of health conditions, which are reflected in the “peak values” for all three indicators: 20% overweight / obese children, 2.8 % caries and only 81 Percentage of participation in U8 / U9 exams. In well-valued quarters, the odds exceed 90 percent.

There are very high participation possibilities for children in the field of health conditions in Buer-Ost, Buer-Nord, Buer-Zentrum, Resser Mark, Beckhausen-Nordwest and Beckhausen-Ost.

Read all the articles from our focus on child poverty in Gelsenkirchen here:

  • In no other city in Germany, apart from Bremerhaven, is the risk of poverty for children about 42 percent higher than in Gelsenkirchen. Go to art.
  • Christoph Butterwegge is probably the best known German researcher on poverty and inequality. What, according to him, is necessary to get out of poverty. Go to art.
  • Teachers from five schools in Gelsenkirchen explain the role of child poverty in learning. And because it is about more than a lack of money. Go to art.
  • For some, poverty means not enough money for food, for others not enough for Airpods. Gelsenkirchen schoolchildren speak of poverty. Go to art.
  • Thousands of children live in relative poverty in Gelsenkirchen. When children’s desires are small, yet there is no money to satisfy them. Go to art.
  • Poverty: Volunteers serve a free breakfast to 600 needy boys and girls in Gelsenkirchen. And the need grows. Go to art.
  • Where needy families from Gelsenkirchen can find used and well-preserved baby clothes. And how much is it. A small selection. Go to art.
  • Where social networks no longer work, the “Church for Children” of Gelsenkirchen intervenes: grants allow young people to participate in society. Go to art.
  • Caries, obesity, developmental delays: children from poor families suffer in many ways. What a pediatrician from Gelsenkirchen experienced. Go to art.


Other items from this category can be found here: Gelsenkirchen


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