Israel’s National Insurance Institute data from 2015 uncovers a mixed trend. The number of impoverished individuals has declined including children, ultra-Orthodox and senior citizens. On the other hand, more families have been added to the poverty circle. This year, Israel is once again at the bottom of the OECD’s poverty and inequality scale.

1.7 million poor people in Israel

1.7 million poor people in Israel Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

The Israeli National Insurance Institute’s 2015 poverty report which was published yesterday (Thursday) determined a decrease in the entire country’s poverty rate including children and senior citizens, when compared to 2014. On the other hand, family poverty rates rose from 18.8% to 19.1% in 2015 and the conditions of the impoverished worsened. 2015’s report places Israel in a questionable status when it comes to leading the OECD poverty index with its 19.6% poverty rate.

According to the report filed by National Insurance Institute CEO Professor Shlomo Mor Yossef to Israeli Welfare and Social Services Minister Haim Katz, 460,800 impoverished families lived in Israel in 2015 with 1,712,900 impoverished individuals, including 764,200 children. Compared to 2014, the number of impoverished individuals was lowered below the poverty level from 22% to 21.7%. The number of impoverished children was lowered from 30% to 31%: Nearly 1 in every 3 children in Israel is living in poverty.

Despite the encouraging data regarding a decline in the number of poor people, the report also presents data exposing that impoverished Israelis became poorer in 2015. The income gap ratio, which expresses the difference between the income of an impoverished family and the income defined as being at the poverty level, rose from 34.6% in 2014 to 35.7% in 2015.