Why do people live in society

Sticking together in family and society

"Without family and friends you lack the wings in life."from the UNESCO Citizens' Dialogue in Magdeburg on May 4, 2015

Marriage is still the most common form of cohabitation

"If it works with the family, it works elsewhere as well."from the citizens' dialogue at the IGBCE in Leverkusen on June 22, 2015

The quote is representative of the majority of people in Germany who call family or partnership the center of their life. The dialogue confirmed: Family and community are very important to the citizens. The people they live with in a household are their most important source of quality of life.

Family life in Germany today is diverse. In addition to the classical nuclear family win others familial and non-familial ways of life increasingly important.

The shows how coexistence in Germany has developed over time Indicator of private family and life forms. It differentiates according to the legal marital status, such as married or registered civil partnership.

Family and Life Forms 1996 and 2017

The Forms of coexistence have changed in recent years: more than every third adult now lives alone. In 2017 that was just under 34 percent. The number of unmarried partnerships is increasing, as is the number of stable same-sex relationships.

But it is still true that more than half of the people in Germany live with their wives or husbands. In 2017 that was 56 out of 100 people. In 1996 there were 66 out of 100 people

The Majority of the children continues to grow up with her married parents in 2017. However, it is ten percent less than 22 years ago. The The number of single parents is increasing further: Every fifth child in Germany today grows up with just one parent.

They are remarkable regional differences: In the East German territorial states Significantly fewer children live with married parents (a good 56 percent) than in western German states (around 76 percent). On the other hand, in the eastern German states, the proportion of children who grow up with a single parent is greater. This share is around 24 percent compared to just under 18 percent in the western German states. In the City-states that's 26 percent of all children.

Proportion of unmarried children living in the household in relation to the respective family and way of life in 1996 and 2017

Still are Single parents predominantly female: In nine out of ten families the single parent is a mother, which corresponds to almost 1.35 million women. Particular attention is paid to the children of single parents. They are more often at risk of poverty.

What is the federal government doing?

The aim of the Federal Government is and will remain to support people's individual wishes for families and stable forms of relationships through good framework conditions.

Friends and helpers in life

"Friends and acquaintances could cushion many hardships in life and thus contribute significantly to a good life."from an online answer dated September 14, 2015

In addition to the closer family circle is a stable social environment of great importance. The participants in the dialogue listed friends, neighbors or relatives as important contacts. They are especially valuable when it comes to getting help outside of the immediate family.

The indicator Help from others provides information about whether a person has the opportunityAsking friends, neighbors, or relatives for help. The social integration of the individual is measured specifically via the proportion of people who state that they can receive help from others.

The good news is: 97 out of 100 people in Germany are certain that they have a specific reference person who they can ask for help when it matters

Percentage of people who say they can get help from others in 2015

The picture is largely the same for men and women and in different age groups. There are differences with regard to employment status. It is much more difficult for the unemployed to find friends, neighbors or relatives to help them. Here 86 out of 100 unemployed stated that they have a specific reference person whom they can ask for help.

In a European comparison, Germany is almost three percentage points above the average.

In the future, welfare state structures will continue to be based on the fact that people first seek and find help in their families and in their immediate circle of acquaintances. In an aging and increasingly mobile society, these networks can become weaker. State institutions should react accordingly.

What is the federal government doing?

The federal government supports the federal states and municipalities with the federal-state program “Socially Integrative City”. In around 540 multi-generation houses, young and old generations meet and strengthen social cohesion. The federal competition “Our village has a future” honors civic engagement for a future worth living in the countryside.

Volunteering is more important than ever

Many people are not only there for one another informally and spontaneously. You voluntarily take on fixed tasks and actively contribute to society. “A lot of people would like to work on a voluntary basis, but they don't have the time.” This is how a participant in the Citizens' Dialogue of the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim on June 30, 2015 put it on behalf of many. Those who did an honorary position alongside their job wanted even more recognition from politics and society.

“Volunteering is very important to me. I also want to do something useful for others in my free time. "from an online answer dated July 14, 2015

The indicator Development of the proportion of volunteers measures which people in Germany volunteer for how many hours. The data basis for this is the volunteer survey. This is the nationwide most extensive survey on voluntary and honorary engagement in Germany. The volunteer survey was carried out for the fourth time, most recently in 2014. The next survey for the volunteer survey is currently running (2019). Data can be expected in autumn 2020 at the earliest.

Development of the proportion of volunteers overall and by age group

Whether in the parish, in the workers 'welfare, in the women's café, in the parents' council or as a youth trainer in the sports club - around 31 million people shape with their voluntary work our community life. In 2014 that was just under 44 percent of the resident population aged 14 and over.

That is almost 10 percent more than at the turn of the millennium. In engagement has risen in all age groups: That is remarkable The youngest are growing, aged 14 to 29 years, and in the oldest age group, from 65 years and up. The rate of commitment among older people is below the average value, as the commitment of people over the age of 75 declines sharply.

Do you volunteer? Compare yourself with other people who are volunteers in Germany.

In studies like that Volunteer survey by the German Center for Age Issues Representative selected persons3 are asked about their voluntary work.

The data shows how many minutes volunteers are active per month, for example in clubs, churches or in sports. The 100 points are arranged from a small to a large amount of time. Each point represents one percent of the volunteers in Germany and indicates how many minutes they are active per month.

Compare your commitment with that of other people in Germany. The black circle marks your commitment. You can see the proportion of volunteers with more and less commitment per month.

Source: 2014 volunteer survey
Volunteers by type of migration background in 2014

The voluntary commitment of People with a migration background can be used as an indicator of the social integration be understood.

So far, migrants have been represented much less frequently among volunteers than citizens without a migration background. However, volunteering depends largely on two factors: immigration history and nationality.

For people with a migration background who were born in Germany and who are German citizens, the proportion of volunteers at 43.2 percent is almost as high as for people without a migration background.

In schools and kindergartens as well as in the ecclesiastical-religious sector, women and men with a migration background relatively often take on voluntary work.

Arousing enthusiasm for volunteering is a major collective task. It affects the federal, state and local governments as well as associations and clubs.

What is the federal government doing?

Civic engagement and voluntary work, especially in structurally weak and rural regions, will in future be strengthened by the German Foundation for Engagement and Honorary Work. With the German Engagement Prize, the federal government honors volunteer work and commitment to the community. More and more volunteers are also getting involved in international services, for example in the programs weltwärts and culture-wide.

Sport - the core of German club culture

Heart of the unique German club culture is the Sports. Many were aware that regular exercise increases individual well-being and is an important contribution to healthy aging. Sport also creates a space for community. It conveys values ​​such as fairness and tolerance. Sport is a successful driver of inclusion and promotes integration.

"Sport connects many people, regardless of where they come from."from the citizens' dialogue of the Human Rights Forum in Herne on May 20, 2015

How many people are physically active in clubs in Germany is determined by the Indicator memberships in sports clubs determined. It measures the proportion of those who are registered as members of at least one sports club of the 16 state sports federations.

Almost 24 million members there are in over 90,000 sports clubs in Germany. Children and adolescents are particularly active, and older people are less common.

Members of sports clubs by age group and region in 2018

The regional differences are striking: in the eastern German federal states 16 out of 100 people are members of a sports club, in the western German federal states it is 31 out of 100. There are historical reasons for this: after the fall of the Berlin Wall, many company sports associations disbanded. Only gradually did a club landscape develop in the eastern German states.

The development in club life in general is also positive: at the end of 2017 there were over 600,000 registered clubs and associations in Germany. These include, for example, music associations, youth clubs, animal welfare and art associations, as well as cooking or computer clubs. In order to realize common goals or interests, many people often do voluntary work in the association or are at least members.

In 2018, more than 560,000 athletes were organized in the German disabled sports associations. Many of them want more recognition and the sporting community with non-disabled people.

"Inclusion sports are still in their infancy in Germany - but sport is all the more important for people with disabilities."from the citizens' dialogue of wheelchair basketball players at USC Munich in Munich on October 3, 2015

The sports clubs make an important contribution to the Coexistence of people with and without a migration background. Differences in culture and religion can be overcome by doing sports together, and social cohesion can be strengthened.

The federally funded program shows how great this potential is Integration through sport. In 2014, more than half of all new members of the 750 base associations across Germany had a migration background.

What is the federal government doing?

With the support of the federal government, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) has been running the “Integration through Sport” program for over 30 years. The budget in the 2016 federal budget has been doubled to more than eleven million euros. Since then, a total of 11.4 million euros have been made available annually.