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Social statistics

Theme in brief

Public assistance

Under public assistance (SGB XII), benefits are provided to individuals and households who are unable to meet their own needs and lack (sufficient) entitlement under other insurance and welfare systems that come before it. Apart from continuous subsistence payments, this refers to basic security benefits in old age and in cases of reduced earning capacity as well as "special benefits of public assistance" such as integration assistance for disabled persons, assistance for nursing care, assistance towards health care.

Housing allowancece

Housing allowance is a subsidy towards housing costs that is funded in equal shares by the Federation and the Länder. In accordance with the provisions of the Housing Allowance Act, this subsidy is granted to lower-income households so that they can pay the costs of adequate housing that meets the needs of families.

Public children and youth welfare

The statistics of public children and youth welfare cover a wide range of functions to be performed by the youth welfare offices according to the Children and Youth Welfare Act. This includes educational assistance measures, day care for children, child protection measures and adoptions.

Parental allowance, child-rearing benefits

Parental allowance, which was introduced on 1 January 2007, has replaced the former child-rearing benefits. All mothers and fathers who have a place of residence or their usual residence in Germany and who live together with their children in one and the same household are entitled to receive parental allowance. The statistics provide quarterly results on terminated receipts of benefits.

Benefits for asylum seekers

Since 1 November 1993, asylum seekers and other individuals entitled according to the Act on Benefits for Asylum Seekers have received, in case of need, benefits according to the Act on Benefits for Asylum Seekers instead of public assistance. Apart from the number of recipients of standard benefits, data are shown on the expenditure made by the Federation and the Länder.

Social reporting

"Official statistics social reporting" offers a comprehensive range of comparable regional data from the fields of minimum social security, poverty and social exclusion. It is a joint project of the Federal Statistical Office and the statistical offices of the Länder carried out by the Social Reporting Working Group (AK SBE).

More information on living conditions and the risk of poverty in Germany is provided by the German EU-SILC survey (LEBEN IN EUROPA).


Additional Information

Key figures

Recipients of public assistance
Basic security benefits 12/20161,025,903
Assistance for nursing care 2015450,674
Households receiving housing allowance 2015460,080
Benefits for asylum seekers2015974,551
Public children and youth welfare
Expenditure (EUR bn) 201540.7
Social reporting
Proportion of recipients of minimum social security benefits 20159.7%


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