Hartz IV recipients die 5 years earlier

Study: Those who are poor die on average five years earlier
People who are poor apparently die about five years earlier. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute compared the life expectancy of the rich and poor in Germany. Significant differences became apparent in some cases.

The widening gap between rich and poor also leaves clear traces in the average life expectancy. People who, for example, have to cope with the subsistence minimum (Hartz IV) or below, live around 5 years less than people with an above-average income. Scientists found this out during an investigation by the Max Planck Institute.

Scissors between rich and poor are becoming increasingly serious
In 2008, according to the demographic study, 65-year-old men with a high pension or old age could live an average of 20 years. However, those who received only a small pension or even basic security had an average of 15 years ahead of them. The institute also reports that the differences between rich and poor have become increasingly serious in recent years.

In the mid-1990s, a “well-to-do” rich pensioner in western Germany lived about three years longer than a man with a significantly lower pension. In East Germany the difference was around three and a half years. In 2008, the life expectancy difference was 4.8 years in the west and 5.6 years in the east. The researchers cited the points of nutrition and medical care as reasons. On the one hand, this is usually healthier for wealthier people and medical diagnosis is often more thorough.

The data were evaluated by statisticians of the German pension insurance and recorded about 86 percent of all men living in Germany. Women or migrants were ignored in the survey. (sb)

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