This Year in Jerusalem

Israel's economy, only five years ago blooming with tourism and high-tech industry, is in its third year of recession. As reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in December, Ran Cohen, head of the Knesset's committee on social gaps, says the nation is now "a society deep in the process of total collapse."

1. Poverty line in Israel: $934 a month for a family of four

2. Number of Israelis below that line: 1.2 million, or one in five

3. Percentage increase from 2001 to 2002 in number of poor children in Israel: almost 50 percent

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4. Number of poor children: 530,000, or 25 percent of all youths

5. Average monthly income for richest 10 percent of Israeli households: $9,000

6. Average for poorest 10 percent: $716

7. Factor by which the most wealthy are richer than the poorest: 12 times

8. Unemployment in first quarter of 2003: 10.8 percent

9. Rank of Israel's unemployment rate among industrialized nations: 2

10. Growth in number of Israelis receiving some form of government payment from January to June 2003: 16.8 percent

11. Overall budget reduction planned for 2004: 4 percent

12. Current retirement age for women: 60

13. For men: 65

14. New retirement age proposed for both genders: 67

15. Percentage change in Israel's GDP from September 2000 to December 2002: minus 9 percent

16. Percentage change in Palestine's GDP, same period: minus 36 percent

17. Estimated unemployment in Arab Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip: 55-65 percent

18. Average monthly household income, as of 2001, in Palestine: 1,200 shekels

19. Average in Israel: 11,361 shekels

20. Percentage of people in Gaza living on less than $2 a day: 70


1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Jewish Telegraphic Agency; 2, 8, 9 Forward; 10, 19 Haaretz; 11, 12, 13, 14 New York Times; 15, 16 Globes Online; 17, 18, 20 B'Tselem

Return to "Homeless in the Homeland: Milk and Honey Runs Dry for Israel's Jewish Poor" by Anya Kamenetz

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