General view of Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In 2012, 27 percent of Israelis aged 20 and up said they felt lonely on a frequent basis, according to a report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday.
The report, focusing on the 14 largest cities in the country, found that in Bat Yam, Netanya and Tel Aviv, people felt lonelier than the national average, with 32%, 32% and 31%, respectively, reporting feeling lonely.
In addition, in Jerusalem, Ashkelon and Holon, 13-14% of people reported they had no social connections.
The findings also indicate that in 2012 some 921,000 people were referred to welfare services, 115.3 for every 1,000 people. Of these, 40.8% lived among the 14 largest cities. Netanya registered the largest defined “needy” population, with 137.5 people for every 1,000 people. Additional cities with high rates of people referred to welfare services included Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel Aviv and Beersheba.
According to the report, the main reason accounting for some 32.7% of referrals to welfare on the national average includes the “dysfunction of the parents or children/youth,” while the second reason accounting for 22.3% includes “poverty, difficulty in earning and finding employment,” followed by “old age” accounting for 20.5% of the referrals.
However, the report stated that in the larger cities the main reason for referrals was more often “old age,” accounting for 27.8%. In Holon and Ashkelon, for example, the report cited that over 40% of people were referred to welfare services for this reason. In comparison, referrals due to poverty constitute over 22% in Jerusalem, Ashkelon, Beersheba and Petah Tikva.
The CBS report also indicated that 30% of people aged 20 and up smoke at least one cigarette per day in Tel Aviv, while Bnei Brak registered the lowest rate of smokers, only 8%.
The city with the highest rate of people convicted of crimes was Beersheba, followed by Bat Yam and Ashkelon, while in contrast Ramat Gan registered the lowest number of convicted criminals.