SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children grow up with the care, protection and relationships they need to become their strongest selves (photo: Alea Horst).

The Federal Republic of Germany, located in Central Europe, is bordered by Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Poland. Composed of 16 constituent states, Germany is the most populous country in the European Union, hosting a declining and ageing population of 83.4 million people. The cultural and political capital city of Berlin is home to 3.6 million inhabitants. Around 78% of the population live in urban environments, with around 22% residing in rural communities.

SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Germany since the mid-1950s. In 1963, a second association was founded for procuring funds for SOS Children's Villages projects outside of Germany.

Children are at risk

With 13.8 million children, under-18s make up 17% of Germany’s population. Child poverty has been a persistent problem in Germany. While affecting 16% of the population, under-18s are at greater risk, with around 1 in 5, equating to 2.8 million children living below the poverty line. Children from single-parent households are most at risk and more than twice as likely to grow up with a lower standard of living compared to others. As a result, thousands of children are unable to participate in social activities, which leads to isolation from their peers
Young people are unemployed

Youth unemployment

While Germany has an unemployment rate around 3%, the nation’s young people are twice as likely to be out of work. Approximately 500,000 young people (6%) are unemployed. This is partly driven by more than 10% of 18 to 24-year-olds leaving education and training earlier than their peers. As such, a poor educational background has a marked effect on young people, with worse prospects for future employment, long-term reductions in wages, increased likelihood of poverty, and poorer physical and mental health outcomes.

1 in 2
Children of migrant background in poverty

Child Poverty

While around 20% of all children in Germany are at risk of poverty, this value rises sharply for children with a migrant background, having at least one parent who is not German by birth. Around 50% of these children live in poor families. As a result, children of migrant background live precariously on the margins of society, isolated from their peers, and struggling to integrate. Poverty makes children vulnerable to poor nutrition, educational challenges, and puts additional strain on families who already face marginalization and discrimination.

1 in 6
Of children live in overcrowded housing

Inadequate housing

Around 1 in 10 people in Germany live in overcrowded homes. Children are disproportionately affected, with over 16% lacking a room for themselves. In single-parent households, almost 30% of children experience overcrowding. Cramped living conditions harm family relationships, negatively affect children's education, and contribute to mental health challenges. In such environments, children are at an increased risk of family violence. They may also be unable to find comfortable spaces to learn and rest

Together we can make a difference for children in Germany

Can stay together
Children and young people
Are supported through educational programmes
Grow up in our care
(Symbolic picture: Gerhard Berger)