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Germany

German Citizens in Debt

As Germany's public debt keeps on climbing, experts have calculated that the average German citizen, including children and pensioners, is carrying €16,000 ($19,000) of the national debt around with them. The figure was worked out on the basis of debt worth €1.3 trillion which Germany had notched up by the end of 2003. The estimated shortfall for this year is €9.6 billion ($11.6 million), which will push the per capita figure up even further. Official statistics confirm that the trend has been growing consistently over the past few years: the per capita figure for 2002 was €15,195, up €500 on the previous year. There are major discrepancies in debt levels across Germany's federal states. In 2002, the highest rates were in Bremen and Berlin with €14,505 and €13,172 respectively. At the lower end of the scale were Bavaria with €2,732 and Saxony with €3,796.