Ethiopian immigrants closing education gaps

Ethiopian journalists, photo: Eyal Yitzhar

There are currently 141,200 citizens of Ethiopian origin in Israel, 55,500 of them born in Israel

Data published today by the Central Bureau of Statistics, on the occasion of the Ethiopian Jewry holiday Sigd, show that Ethiopian immigrants are closing gaps with the general population in the field of education and higher education.

There are currently 141,200 citizens of Ethiopian origin in Israel, 55,500 of them born in Israel with one parent or more born in Ethiopia. In 2015, only 91 Ethiopians immigrates to Israel, the lowest number since 2000, and less than half the number of immigrants in 2014 (213).

Most citizens of Ethiopian origin live in central (38%) and southern (24%) Israel. The city with the highest number of Ethiopian immigrants is Netanya (11,400), while the city with the highest percentage of Ethiopian Israelis is Kiryat Malachi (16.8%).

A high divorce rate

Israelis of Ethiopian origin marry later than the general Jewish population. 90% of them marry Ethiopian Israelis, men more than women (95% and 87%, respectively).

The divorce rate among the Ethiopian Israeli community is higher than the general Jewish population (16 out of 1000 married people compared with 9 out of 1000 among the general Jewish population). The percent of single-parent families is also particularly high among Ethiopian Israelis, 29%, twice as high as in the general population.

In the 2014/15 school year, 48.4% of school students of Ethiopian origin studied in state-religious schools (elementary and secondary education). This figure has been gradually declining in the past decade (compared with 58.4% in the 1994/95 school year). In elementary and secondary education, students of Ethiopian origin seem to be managing to close gaps with other students: in 2015, 89% of them took Bagrut (matriculation) tests, compared with 94% among the general population, while the number of dropouts was slightly lower than the percentage among all Jewish students: 1.21% compared with 1.40%. The average Psychometric Entrance Test score of students of Ethiopian origin was 448 points. Although the score is lower than the national average (541 points), it constitutes a significant improvement from the score in the 1990/2000 academic year, which was 375.4.

In 2015/16, 2,583 students of Ethiopian origin studied for a BA degree. Most of them studied in academic colleges (55%), about a third of them in universities (32%) and 13% in academic colleges of education. More than two-thirds of undergraduate students (72.4%) among Ethiopian Israelis were women, compared with 57.9% among the general population.

Overall, there were 2,966 students of Ethiopian origin in higher education establishments, 87.1% of them undergraduate students, 12.0% graduate students and 0.6% of them PhD students.

These figures on Ethiopian Israelis are published in the first year after the cancellation of the breakdown, customary in statistics on Israel's population, between immigrants from Asia and Africa and immigrants from Europe and America.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 28, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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Ethiopian journalists, photo: Eyal Yitzhar
Ethiopian journalists, photo: Eyal Yitzhar
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