More than 1.6 million Israelis lived below the poverty line, including 750,000 children, the latest National Insurance institute poverty report found. The report found that 18.6% of Israeli families lived below the poverty line at the end of 2013, down from 19.4% at the end of 2012. Per capita poverty fell from 23.5% to 21.8% over this period and child poverty fell from 33.7% at the end of 2012 to 30.8% at the end of 2013. Poverty among senior citizens fell from 22.7% at the end of 2012 to 22.1% last year.
However, the report stressed that Israel still has one of the worst rates of poverty in the OECD with only Turkey and Mexico having higher rates.
The report found that as of the end of2013, a couple with three children were living under the poverty line if they did not have an income of NIS 9,000 per month. A couple needs a monthly income of NIS 4,783 to stay above the poverty line, and an individual needs NIS 2,989.
Poverty in Israel's Arab sector fell from 54.3% at the end of 2012 to 47.4% at the end of 2013.
Despite cuts in child benefits in 2013, the National Insurance Institute attributes the improved situation on poverty to more welfare aid and higher participation in the work force.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 16, 2014
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