Families in Germany

Facts, figures and challenges

‍Familiesare the foundation of society. Around 18.6 million families live in Germany, which corresponds to about one third of the population. But what factors shape the lives of families in Germany? What challenges do they have to overcome? And what measures are there to support families?

Families in Germany - Facts and Figures

There are a variety of family forms in Germany. Most families consist of parents and their children, but patchwork families and single parents are also common. In 2020, 69% of families lived in their own four walls, while 31% lived in rented accommodation. The average age at the birth of the first child is 30.6 years for women and 33.1 years for men. Most children are born in North Rhine-Westphalia, followed by Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

The number of children per family has declined in recent decades. Whereas in 1960 an average of 2.4 children were born per family, in 2020 the figure was only 1.4. Around 13.7 million underage children and young people live in Germany. Around 2.7 million children and young people live in low-income families.

Challenges for families in Germany

Families in Germany face various challenges. One important challenge is balancing family and career. Many parents would like to return to work after the birth of a child, but have difficulty finding suitable childcare. The expansion of all-day care and the reconciliation of school and work also pose a challenge for many families.

Another challenge for families in Germany is the housing situation. Especially in metropolitan areas, it is difficult to find a suitable apartment that meets a family's needs. Housing is often scarce and expensive, which puts a strain on low-income families in particular. Many families therefore have to live in cramped conditions or switch to living outside the city.

Measures to support families in the housing situation

There are various measures to help families with their housing situation. One possibility is the construction of new apartments specifically designed to meet the needs of families. The expansion of socially subsidized housing can also help low-income families find suitable housing. In addition, there are various subsidy programs that can help families buy or build their own home.

Family Policy and Family Benefits in Germany

Family policy and family benefits in Germany have become more important in recent years. Policymakers are committed to supporting families and giving them a good life. One example is child benefit, which is paid to parents who have children under the age of 18. The child allowance and parental allowance are also important benefits that support families.

Another topic in family policy is the compatibility of family and career. Here there are various measures designed to support families. These include the expansion of childcare options and the introduction of more flexible working models. Parental allowance plus, which gives parents the option of working part-time and receiving parental allowance at the same time, also helps families better reconcile work and family life.


Families are an important pillar of society and must be taken into account in their diversity and needs. In the future, too, it will be important to support families and focus on their needs. One challenge here will be the increasing number of single-parent families and the aging population. It is important that policymakers respond to this and take appropriate measures to support families in the future as well.

Frequently asked questions

How many people live in families?

In Germany, around two thirds of the population live in families. This means that around 52 million people in Germany live together in families.

What percentage of Germans are parents?

Around 38 percent of Germans are parents. This means that around 31 million people in Germany have children.

How big is a family in Germany?

The average family size in Germany is 2.0 to 2.1 people. This means that, on average, a family consists of two to three people.

What percentage of parents are married?

Around 76 percent of parents in Germany are married. This means that the majority of parents in Germany live in a marriage.

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