Israel poverty figures up, 40% of children at risk

Nearly twice as many youngsters facing financial difficulties compared to average for European countries

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A homeless man sleeps on the edge of the road on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. Sep 16 2013. (photo credit: Sliman Khader/FLASH90)
A homeless man sleeps on the edge of the road on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. Sep 16 2013. (photo credit: Sliman Khader/FLASH90)

The number of Israelis at risk of poverty has gone up in the last decade and is nearly twice the average in the European Union, figures released Wednesday show.

Details from the “Society in Israel Report No. 6,” published by the National Central Bureau of Statistics, showed that an increasing number of Israelis are failing to make ends meet.

According to the report, 31 percent of the population in 2011 was in danger of poverty, compared to 17% in the European Union. For the purposes of the report, risk of poverty was defined as when each member of a household is supported on less than 60% of the average financial resources available to the rest of the population.

Among Israeli single-parent households with dependent children, 44% were facing poverty compared to 41% in 2001. In Europe, the numbers stood at 35% in 2011 and 32% in 2001. Luxembourg was found to be worst of all with 46%.

The number of children at risk of poverty in Israel was twice that in Europe in 2011, with 40% for the former compared to just 20% for the latter.

Seventy-four percent of Israelis between the ages of 25 and 64 were employed in 2012, compared to a 71% average among the other 33 countries that, along with Israel, are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Israel lagged in higher education, with the percentage who obtained a first and second degree at 36% compared to 39% for OECD countries in 2011. Poland scored highest with 58% and Turkey and Mexico were at the bottom, with 23% and 21% respectively.

On the bright side, traffic accidents have shown a steady drop and Israel was among the 10 least deadly countries in this regard. The number of deaths per billion kilometers of road travel was seven in 2010, down from 13 in 2000. Britain had the lowest number of car fatalities, with four deaths per billion kilometers traveled.

The full report on Israeli society is due to be published on Thursday.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed