More and more students at risk of poverty

37.9 % of all students in Germany were at risk of poverty in 2021. This was announced by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on the occasion of World Student Day on November 17, based on initial results of the survey on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) 2021. Students who lived alone or exclusively alone with other students in 2021 were even more affected. Here, the relative risk of poverty was 76.1 %. In comparison, around 15.8 % people in the German population were at risk of poverty last year.

Statement on this by the German Student Union

Matthias Anbuhl, Secretary General of the German Student Union, explains:

"Students are facing dramatic social hardship this winter semester. Financially and psychologically, they are coming out of the Corona pandemic on the ragged edge - and in view of skyrocketing prices, they often don't know how they are now supposed to pay for electricity, gas and food.

The student budget is usually extremely tightly sewn; now this seam is in danger of tearing.

The federal government must support students even more than it has in the past. It should step up its game when it comes to direct aid.

In the case of BAföG, the pressure to act is great: the basic amount must be increased as quickly as possible, as must the flat-rate housing allowance, and we now need automatic inflation compensation for BAföG just as quickly as it is standard for other social benefits. BAföG must be regularly adjusted in line with price and income trends. That is the best way to prevent poverty.

The multiple crises also put a strain on international students in Germany. Since they have 140 euros less income per month than German students, price increases are serious for them.

Those who want to relieve the financial burden on students must also relieve the burden on the student unions. The states are called upon to provide greater financial support to their student unions so that they do not have to pass on the enormous price increases for energy and food to students in the form of higher rents, higher cafeteria meal prices or higher social contributions."

From the German Student Union press release, November 16, 2022.