Israel now has the third-highest rate of poverty in the developed world. (Only Mexico and Chile are worse.) A large part of of Israel's poverty rate comes from the Arab and haredi communities, which are poor in large part due to voluntary underemployment. But while more Israeli Arabs chose to join the workforce and the community's poverty rate dropped as a result, the haredi poverty rate rose.
Israel now has the third-highest rate of poverty in the developed world. (Only Mexico and Chile are worse.)
A large part of of Israel's poverty rate comes from the Arab and haredi communities, which are poor in large part due to underemployment.
Arab Israelis face discrimination. But the largest contributing factor to the community's high poverty rate is that many Israeli Arab women do not work for cultural and religious reasons, and these one-income families tend to have large numbers of children.
Haredim also face some discrimination. But they also refuse to serve in the IDF, and many also refuse to work, opting instead to remain full time yeshiva students well into middle age, relying on government welfare benefits, government child allowances and charity to get by, along with whatever meager part time incomes their wives can earn while simultaneously caring for and raising about seven children each.
Significantly more Israeli Arab women chose to enter the workforce last year.
But haredi men still opted not to work, not to serve in the IDF, and to reamin poor-by-choice, keeping Israel's poverty rate at a shameful level and taking charitable and welfare resources away from people who are poor because of illness, disability or bad luck.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
…According to the annual report based on data gathered by the Central Bureau of Statistics, the poverty rate in Israel declined from 23.5% in 2012 to 21.8% in 2013.
The percentage of families living in poverty declined from 19.4% in 2012 to 18.6% in 2013 and the percentage of children living in poverty declined from 33.7% in 2012 to 30.8% in 2013. The poverty rate among the elderly also decreased from 22.7% in 2012 to 22.1% in 2013.
These percentages represent some 1,658,200 million people living in poverty in 2013, among them 756,900 children and 432,600 families.
This marked a slight improvement from the 2012 statistics, which found 1,754,700 people, 817,200 children and 439,500 families living in poverty.
The The National Insurance Institute (NII) attributed the decline in the poverty rates primarily due to an increase in the employment rate and an increase in wages.…
The poverty rate among the Arab population declined by some seven percent, from 54.4% in 2012 to 47.4% in 2013; this was attributed primarily to an increase in employment rates especially among women where the employment rate increase by some 18% in 2013.
However, despite the improvement in the poverty rates among the Arab population, families from this sector were still roughly 3.5 times poorer than Jewish families, the report found.
In contrast, the poverty rates among the ultra-Orthodox populations increased to 66% in 2013 from 60% in 2012. The reason for this the report cites, is due to a lack of increase in employment rates, low earnings, and the cutback in child allowances.…