National Insurance Institute says Israel experiences economic downturn worse than 2008 crisis as number of Israelis living below poverty line rises by 7%.
Israel’s poverty rate has increased while the standard of living has dipped significantly throughout 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis and the consequent three national closures, a report published on Thursday by the National Insurance Institute said.
The report specifies that since the outbreak of the pandemic in Israel in March 2020, the number of Israelis living below the poverty line had increased by 7%, accompanied by a significant 4.4% decrease in the nation's standard of living.
The current drop in living standards in Israel is the most significant the regime had endured since the economic crisis of 2008 and is 23% worse.
Additionally, income inequality in Israel in 2020 had also increased by 7.8% compared to 2019. Many of those who lost their livelihood during the crisis were workers making minimum wage, causing the growing disparity and further deepening inequality in Israel, which was already among the highest among OECD countries in 2018.
The report further states that the number of people living under the poverty line dropped slightly to 1,980,309, compared to more than 2 million in 2019. These figures are not necessarily encouraging since the poverty line is defined by the average standard of living, which has dropped considerably in the past year.
Among Israel's Jewish population below, 1,277,477 people are living under the poverty line, 560,882 of which are children. Ultra-Orthodox Jews living under the poverty line number 500,396 people, 296,167 of which are children.
There are 702,832 Arab citizens living below the poverty line, 346,397 of which are children.