Israel’s children are second poorest in developed world
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Israel’s children are second poorest in developed world

Jewish state above only Turkey in OECD ranking, with one in four aged 17 years and under classed as poor

A young Jewish boy eats at the Yad Ezra V'Shulamit center in Jerusalem, which serves hot lunch every day to more than 1,200 children under the poverty line. September 27, 2011. (Uri Lenz/FLASH90)
A young Jewish boy eats at the Yad Ezra V'Shulamit center in Jerusalem, which serves hot lunch every day to more than 1,200 children under the poverty line. September 27, 2011. (Uri Lenz/FLASH90)

Israel has the second-highest rate of poverty among children and teenagers in the developed world, according to a report published Monday by the National Insurance Institute.

With 25 percent of the population aged 0-17 years classified as poor, Israel is only ahead of Turkey, and eight places below the average (12.9%) for member states of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the NII found.

In most OECD countries, the poorest age group is young people between 18 and 25 years. According to the organization, a country’s child poverty rate is based on the number of children with an annual income that is 50% below the national median.

In its annual survey of socioeconomic indicators, the NII compared poverty rates in developed nations by age group. It found that Israel’s 26-50 age group is the second poorest on the poverty index, sandwiched between Mexico and Greece, and 11 places below the OECD average.

A man searches the trash in a garbage container in the center of Jerusalem. (illustrative photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A man searches the trash in a garbage container in the center of Jerusalem. (illustrative photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Israel is also the fourth poorest when it comes to the sector aged 66 and above, with 21.7% classed as poor. This is eight places below the OECD average.

The NII found that welfare allowances for children, the elderly and the unemployed are also among the lowest in the Western world, Army Radio reported. The country’s investment in welfare put it in seventh place from the bottom.

Israel has consistently scored badly on poverty indices in recent years.

In May 2013, it was found to have a poverty rate of 21 percent, the highest among all OECD countries.

In April this year, a United Nations report said Israel had the highest level of socioeconomic inequality among its children, in a review of 41 developed nations.

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