As a large, urbanized, industrial country with a diverse population, Germany has a portion of its population living in poverty. The European Union (EU--see Glossary) classifies as poor those households that have less than half the average net income. According to this definition, in 1992 approximately 7.5 percent of the population in the old Lšnder and 14.8 percent in the new Lšnder were poor. The number of poor has been growing since 1970, when the number of those receiving social assistance reached its lowest point of 750,000. In the early 1990s, one study estimated that in 1992 there were 4.6 million recipients of various kinds of social assistance, nearly 700,000 of whom lived in the new Lšnder . Households with three or more children and single parents were the most likely recipients of social assistance.
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