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December 31, 2018 2:18 pm

One in Five Israelis Live in Poverty, Annual Report Finds as 2018 Draws to Close

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A bank in Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

One in five Israelis — around 1,780,500 — live in poverty, according to an annual report published by the National Insurance Institute on Monday, as 2018 drew to a close.

Israel, the report said, had the highest poverty rate among Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations.

While the overall poverty rate increased by 2.7% from 2016 to 2017 — the year on which the report was based — the proportion of families living in poverty decreased 0.4%.

There was also a decrease in poverty among children, but increases among the elderly and unemployed.

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The Arab and ultra-Orthodox sectors were the poorest in Israel, with 47.1% and 43.1% poverty rates respectively.

On New Year’s Eve, the population of Israel stood at 8,972,000 — 6,668,000 (74.3%) Jews, 1,878,000 Arabs (20.9%) and 426,000 (4.8%) others — the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.

The number of Israeli citizens rose by 2% in 2018 — consistent with the growth rate of recent years.

Around 185,000 Israeli babies were born in the past year, and 28,000 new immigrants arrived in the country.

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