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City Hall, Schöneberg, Berlin. The German capital city has one of the highest ratios of social benefit recipients in the country /Photo: AfricanCourierMedia

Germany: Latest figures on Hartz IV, other social benefit recipients released

Hartz IV, basic social security in old age, benefits for asylum-seekers: More than seven million people received state support at the end of 2018 to secure their livelihood. The share of benefit recipients dropped for the third year in a row – especially among asylum-seekers.

The number of recipients of social security benefits fell last year. At the end of 2018, 7.2 million people received livelihood assistance, 5.1 percent less than a year earlier, the Federal Statistics Office announced on Friday in Wiesbaden

Measured by the total population, the share of beneficiaries dropped from 9.2 per cent at the end of 2017 to 8.7 per cent at the end of 2018, indicating that the number of beneficiaries fell for the third consecutive year.

With almost 5.6 million recipients, Hartz IV was the most frequent minimum income support used in 2018, according to the official figures. That was 5.7 percent less than the year before. Basic provision for old age and reduced earning capacity benefited 1.1 million people (minus 1.9 percent). Livelihood assistance outside of institutions was given to 121,000 people (down by 4.3 percent).

Payments under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act were made to 411,000 people, 12.2 percent less than in the previous year. This decline is due to a reduction in the number of asylum applications and the high number of completed asylum cases, the statistics office said.

The highest proportion of beneficiaries was recorded in Bremen at 17.4 percent of the population, followed by Berlin (16.8 percent) and Hamburg (13 percent). The lowest in Bavaria (4.6 percent), Baden-Württemberg (5.3 percent) and Rhineland-Palatinate (7 percent).

Felix Dappah

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