CBS: One out of three Israelis can't cover expenses

Thirty-five percent of respondents reported inability to cover monthly household bills, including food, electricity, phone.

Social justice protest 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Social justice protest 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
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 Statistics.
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 bills.
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.
Average 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 upper class.
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 areas.
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 areas.
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 difficulties.
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 areas.
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 areas.
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.
Residents of 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 allocations.
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 upper-class areas.
Notably, 27% of Jews in lower-class areas live in high-density dwellings, compared to just 19% of Arabs with the same standard of living.