GHDI logo

Statistical Report on the Development of the Standard of Living in the German Democratic Republic and in the Federal Republic of Germany (1956)

page 3 of 3    print version    return to list previous document      next document

14. The development of the production of radio and television receivers.
The production of radio receivers is rising steadily in West Germany and in the GDR. Radio production – relative to population size – is higher in West Germany than in the GDR.
The production of television receivers in West Germany is about eight times higher than in the GDR.

15. The development of the number of radio licenses
The number of radio licenses – relative to population size – is nearly the same in the GDR and in West Germany. The number of radio listeners is rising steadily in the GDR as well as in West Germany.

16. The development of the production, import, and export of shoes
The production of shoes – relative to population size – is just about as high in the GDR as in West Germany. The import of shoes (we are talking about leather shoes) in the GDR is about twice as large as in West Germany.

17. The development of income and expenses of the state budget
The household income per capita in the GDR rose from 1,303.- DM (100%) in 1951 to 2,019.- DM (154.6%) in 1955.
In West Germany, it rose during the same period from 717.- DM (100%) to 1,013.- (141%).
The income in the GDR from the state-owned economy rose from 100% in 1951 to 254% in 1955. Its share of overall income rose from 16.2% to 35% in the same period.
The share of taxes of total revenues of the West German budget was 82.2% in 1951 and 71.7% in 1955.
The budget expenses per capital are about twice as high in the GDR as in West Germany. The expenses in the GDR for education, science, culture, and the social welfare system are nearly three times as high.
In West Germany, 27.1% of total expenses – 242.72 West Marks per capita – were spent on military armament in 1953. In the GDR, by contrast, only 3% of total expenses – 54.67 DM per capita – are being spent in 1956 on setting up the People’s Army, whereas 33% is spent for cultural and social purposes.
Thus, the number of students per class in the general education schools was 28.9 in the GDR in 1953, and 37.5 in West Germany. For each full-time teacher there were 27.8 students in the GDR in 1953, whereas there were 35.6 in West Germany.
In 1954, there were 32 university students per 10,000 inhabitants in the GDR, and 25 in West Germany.
The number of hospital beds per 10,000 of the population is rising year after year in the GDR, while it is falling in West Germany. In 1953, there were 109 beds in the GDR and 105 beds in West Germany.

18. Development of expenses for housing construction
In the GDR, more money was expended on housing construction every year, likewise in West Germany. In 1950, expenses for housing construction in the GDR were 0.29 billion, in West Germany 3.8 billion; in 1954, expenses in the GDR were 0.99 billion, versus 9 billion, that is, ten times as much, in West Germany, including construction for the occupying power. Per capita, 55 DM were spent in the GDR in 1954 for housing construction, and 181 DM in West Germany. With the funds expended in 1954, 1.9 apartments were restored or newly constructed in the GDR per 1,000 people, compared to 11 apartments in West Germany. It should be noted that the expenditures for housing construction per capita in 1954 were about three times as high in West Germany as in the GDR, while the newly created living space is about six times larger.

19. The development of the social and health care system
Pensions for the disabled and widows are higher in the GDR than in West Germany (1953). Apartments in the GDR are not as densely occupied as in West Germany. In West Germany, there are 4.4 persons per apartment (1953), in the GDR, 3.6 persons. There were nearly twice as many inhabitants per doctor in the GDR in 1953 as in West Germany; per specialist, there were about 1 1/2 times as many. By contrast, the number of intermediate medical personnel per 10,000 inhabitants in the GDR is nearly the same as in West Germany.

20. Savings of the population
The savings deposits in the GDR are growing in the individual years. From DM 2,014 million in 1952 they reached DM 4,918.5 million in 1955. In West Germany, they rose in the same period from DM 7,076.5 million to DM 20,127.3 million. The savings per capita are DM 276.- in the GDR and DM 401.- in West Germany.

[ . . . ]

Source: BArch, DE 1/11791, Bl. 3-49; reprinted in Dierk Hoffmann and Michael Schwartz, eds., Geschichte der Sozialpolitik in Deutschland seit 1945. Bd. 8: 1949-1961: Deutsche Demokratische Republik. Im Zeichen des Aufbaus des Sozialismus [History of Social Policy in Germany since 1945, Vol. 8: 1949-1961: German Democratic Republic. Under the Sign of the Build Up of Socialism]. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2004, no. 8/162.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

first page < previous   |   next > last page