Both parents have to work to lift children out of poverty

A new study finds that the old single-breadwinner model has become a thing of the past: one salary can no longer support a family with a stay-at-home mother without a serious risk of sliding into poverty.

Daria Sukharchuk
Daria Sukharchuk NewsMavens, Central & Eastern Europe
Both parents have to work to lift children out of poverty - NewsMavens
Wife of miner, cleaning table in kitchen of house, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

In Germany, roughly 2 million children live in poverty, meaning that they are more likely to have fewer hobbies, to not take part in school trips, and to possibly even skip school if they don't have anything to wear. As a result, poor children will be less socialized and educated than their peers who never experienced poverty.

According to the recently published study by the German Institute of Labour Market Research, children from families where the mother does not work are more likely to experience poverty than those from families with both parents employed.

Of course, their risk is still lower than for children raised by single mothers working unstable or low-paid jobs, but still, data shows that single-breadwinner families are no longer economically viable.

Details from the story:

  • Children from families where only one parent is working are at a higher risk of poverty than their peers from double-income families.
  • Those at the highest risk (96% -- meaning almost unavoidable) are the children of single mothers relying on unstable or low-paid jobs.
  • The study ran from 2006 and is based on interviews with ca. 15,000 people aged 15 and above. It tracks the lives of 3,180 children over the course of five years or longer.
  • The study's sponsor, Bertelsmann Fund, recommends that in order to mitigate the problem, mothers should have easier access to stable jobs and children should be given more support by the state.
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