The National Insurance Institute found that there were 468,800 families living under the poverty line.
The number of poor families is rising, the poor are getting poorer, and while only around 14% of Jews are poor, more than half of Arabs fall below the poverty line — and that rate is going up.
On the bright side, poverty is down among children and the elderly, one-parent families and the ultra-Orthodox Jewish population, the National Insurance Institute’s annual report on poverty shows.
A poor person in 2015 — the year covered by the report — was defined as one living on a monthly income of less than NIS 3,158 ($823). A poor family of four had less than NIS 8,086 ($2,107) to live on, a family of eight under NIS 13,139 ($3,423).
In 2015, there were 460,800 poor families in Israel, representing 1,712,900 citizens, of whom 764,200 were children.
That represented a tiny (0.3%) drop in the poverty index compared with 2015 (from 22% to 21.7%) explained by increased employment, especially among Arab women and ultra-Orthodox Jewish men, and a rise in salaries accounted for largely by a raise in the minimum wage.