Figures released on Friday show a slight, but alarming, increase in the number of children under 15 receiving welfare checks. The numbers, by the Federal Department of Statistics, reveal that of the 2.91 million people on welfare in Germany at the end of last year, 965,000 were under 15. The figure was an increase of 3.3 percent on the year before. Non-profit organizations think its much higher than that. The charity organization DPWV says the percentage is as high as 30 in some regions of Germany. "The situation is far more dramatic than the statistics show," said DPWV director Ulrich Schneider. "The number of people living at the welfare level has increase twofold since Dec. 31, 2004, the day on which the (federal agency) bases their statistics."