Around three out of every five Israeli adults are happy with their financial
situation, but more than one-third of the population is not able to cover all
monthly household expenses, according to the Central Bureau of
Despite last year’s protests over the cost of living and
other recent signs of rising public dissatisfaction, the CBS found that 61
percent of Israelis aged 20 and over were financially content in 2010 – when the
last survey was conducted – compared to just 48% in 2002.
At the same
time, 35% of Israelis reported that they were unable to cover all monthly
household expenses, such as food, electricity and telephone
Divided into sectors, 45% of Arabs were unable to pay all
household expenses, compared to 32% of Jews.
Eight percent of those
polled said they were unable to reach the end of the month.
monthly household consumption in lower-class municipalities was NIS 11,821 at the
time of the survey, compared to NIS 12,755 in middle-class areas and NIS 16,995
in upper-class areas.
The CBS released the above data ahead of Rosh
Hashana as part of a preview to its Society in Israel Report. It will publish
the full version of the report on October 17 to mark the International Day for
the Eradication of Poverty.
To simplify the report, the bureau divided
Israeli municipalities into three categories: lower class, middle class and
Exactly 20% of the country lives in upper-class
municipalities such as Tel Aviv- Jaffa; 68.4% live in middle class
municipalities; and the remaining 11.6% live in lower-class areas. Arab families
constitute 70% of households in lower-class areas, and just 1% in upper class
Much of the report focused on the subject of poverty. It showed
that 63% of people living in lower-class municipalities are at risk of poverty as
it is defined by the European Union, compared to 9% in upper class
As for those already living in poverty, 11% of people aged 20 and
over reported often giving up on food in the past year because of financial
Health standards have dropped in correlation with living
standards. Nineteen percent of adults reported that their health was not good,
but the proportion of people reporting ill health was two to three times higher
in most lower-class areas than it was in upper class
Unsurprisingly, applications to welfare services followed a
similar trend: 245.2 out of every 1,000 people in lower-class areas reported
turning to welfare agencies, compared to 115.9 in upper-class
Percentage of income earned from work equaled around 76% among
people in all three socioeconomic categories, but there were noticeable
differences in where their non-work income came from.
upper-class areas received 14% of their earnings from capital income, pension
and provident funds, while those in lower-class areas received 4% of their
income from the aforementioned sources and 21% from welfare and other budget
The different structure of households provides a partial
explanation for this gap, the CBS said.
The average lower-class household
contained 2.2 children, compared to one child in middle class areas and 0.7
children among the upper class. In the poorer municipalities, 21% live in
high-density dwellings – with two or more people per room – compared to 2% in
Notably, 27% of Jews in lower-class areas live in
high-density dwellings, compared to just 19% of Arabs with the same standard of