The level of household income provides a basis for various indices that can be used to measure conditions within cities, including poverty level, socioeconomic standing and so on. The level of household income can also explain why in recent years, more and more households with at least one wage earner are unable to break out of the cycle of poverty.

In 2010, Jerusalem had about 194,000 households, in approximately 60 percent of which the head of household was employed. The average net monthly household income in Jerusalem was NIS 10,700. This figure was 23% lower than the average monthly income per household in the country (NIS 13,900), 28% lower than the average monthly income in Tel Aviv (NIS 14,800), and 24% lower than the average monthly income in Haifa (NIS 14,100).

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The principal source for the gross monthly income of Jerusalem households whose head of household was employed was earnings from employment (85%). The other sources of income included capital, property, pensions and social security benefits. Interestingly social security benefits constituted 8% of all income in those households headed by salaried employees.

This percentage was higher than the figure for the country as a whole (6%), Tel Aviv (4%) and Haifa (5%). The average household size varies significantly among the major cities. It is important, therefore, to measure the level of income per number of individuals in the households (income per standard person). Jerusalem is characterized by households with a high average number of persons (4.3), compared to Tel Aviv (2.5 persons) and the country as a whole (3.7 persons).

A weighted assessment of these statistics reveals that in 2010, the average net monthly income in Jerusalem per standard person measured NIS 3,300. This was 30% lower than the average income for the country (NIS 4,700), 50% lower than the average for Tel Aviv (NIS 6,600), and 42% lower than the average for Haifa (NIS 5,700).