Learning Beats Love in Germany | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 24.11.2005
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Learning Beats Love in Germany

When asked what they consider most important in life, Germans live up to their reputation as rather serious scholars by putting qualifications squarely at the top of the pile.


Who needs love when there are still books to read?

A survey into the priorities of living and loving in Germany has done little to alter the image of the nation's population as viewed through the critical eyes of foreigners.

By their own admission, nine out of ten earnest Germans said that, given the choice of love, money, children of an excessive string of hard-earned titles to place before their names, they would opt for the latter.

Just over 50 percent of those questioned in the survey conducted by the Allianz insurance company, said they were "satisfied" with their lives. Even the thought of love fails to ignite the passions of the German imagination, with 20 percent of those asked saying relationships don't rank highly on their list of life-time musts. It's perhaps not a surprise that children rank low as well, with 63 percent saying they would do fine without them.

What makes Germanshappiest, besides the promise of academic achievement, is time to spend with family and friends, health care and hobbies. Could they include collecting degrees?

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