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Germany

Kassel tops Welfare Recipient List

For the first time ever the central German town of Kassel is officially home to the highest percentage of the nation's social welfare recipients. Figures published by the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden show that by the end of last year, 10.1 percent of Kassel's inhabitants were on state benefits. Kassel, which is located in the state of Hessen, has pushed the northern town of Bremerhaven from the top spot. At the other end of the scale, the town of Erlangen in the region of Franconia recorded a mere two percent of inhabitants on welfare. Following the publication of the figures, officials in Kassel were quick to stress that the number of benefit recipients had fallen during the course of the year, and was at 9.77 percent in October 2003.