The typical profile of a member of Israel’s exclusive club of 400 “mega-rich” citizens is a 56-year-old man living in Tel Aviv with an income of NIS 36.8 million ($10.1 million) per year.
According to a study published by the Finance Ministry, Israel’s mega-rich constitute just .01 percent of Israel’s population, yet pull in 2.9% of the country’s total income each year.
Furthermore, the NIS 36.8 million per year income of the “mega-rich” is 290 times higher than the average Israeli’s income of NIS 126,900 ($34,955); before taxes, a member of the “mega-rich” makes NIS 60 million ($16.5) every year.
The Finance Ministry did not identify any of the country’s wealthiest people.
Of the 400 “mega-rich,” 80% live in central Israel, with 53% living in Tel Aviv.
Although women make up 46% of the labor force in Israel, only 11% of the top 400 are women.
For women in the exclusive list, the average annual income stands at NIS 33 million ($9.1 million) pear year, 12% less than the NIS 37 million ($10.2 million) “mega-rich” men make each year, although in the general population women earn on average 65% less than males.
Unlike most Israelis, who derive 93.2% of their income from their salary, business or pension, members of the elite club only earn 8.2% of their income from such sources, with 91.8% instead coming from financial investments and capital gains.
While they pay an average of NIS 10.2 million ($2.8 million) in taxes per year — which is 400 times higher than average Israeli, who pays NIS 25,000 ($6,885) each year — and 4% of the country’s total tax take, the “mega-rich” still pay less in taxes relative to other wealthy Israelis, as most of their income is not subject to progressive income tax rates, the report said.
The minimum needed to crack the elite club was an annual income of at least NIS 10.5 million ($ 2.8 million) per year, the study said.
The Finance Ministry said the study was based on data from the Israel Tax Authority and was meant to serve as an Israeli version of the US Internal Revenue Service annual study of the 400 wealthiest Americans, which in turn was inspired by Forbes Magazine’s list of the 400 richest people.