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IN FOCUS / 2016-03-02

International Women's Day: women have higher income in 14% of couples

International Women's Day is celebrated on 8 March. For more than 100 years, this has been the day for women to demand equal opportunities - for example in terms of income. In 2014, women had a higher income than their husband or cohabiting partner in 14% of the couples in Germany. In the majority of couples (76%), however, the man had the highest income in the household. In 10% of all couples, the man and the woman had similar incomes.

Marked differences were revealed, among other things, between married couples and unmarried cohabiting couples. In married couples, 12% of the women had a higher income than their partner, while the rate was twice that in unmarried cohabiting couples (24%). Considerable differences were also observed between eastern and western Germany. In 22% of the couples in the new Länder and Berlin the woman was the main income earner, while this applied to just 12% of the couples in the former territory of the Federal Republic.

Differences were small between couples with and without children. In 15% of the couples without children, the woman had a higher income than her husband or cohabiting partner, while the rate was 12% in couples with children.

Additional Information

Key figures

Population (31.12.)201582.2 mn
foreign20158.7 mn
with migrant background201618.6 mn
Live births2015737,575
Net migration2015+1.1 mn
Households201650.0 mn
Lone parents20161.6 mn


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© Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2017

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