The number of unmarried single mothers in Israel has increased by 40 percent over the last five years, a new study revealed Tuesday.
Some 93,000 single-parent families, with children under the age of 17, lived in Israel in 2006, making up 5.7 percent of Israeli family households.
According to the study, conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics, 91 percent of single parents are women, most of them divorced.
The most dramatic increase was registered in the number of unmarried single mothers, which stands at 10 percent of all single-parent homes. Most unmarried single mothers are Jewish.
Notably, the rate of single-parent families is higher among immigrants from the former Soviet Union (20 percent) than among Jewish families as a whole (13 percent).
And where does Israel stand in comparison to other countries? The study notes that the number of single-parent families in Israel is lower than in the United States (16 percent), Norway (10 percent), Canada (8 percent) and Britain (8 percent), and similar to the number in Holland (6 percent).
In 2006, the Israeli family household contained 3.7 people on average. Owing to low fertility rates, the Jewish family is smaller than the Arab family (an average of 3.5 people in the Jewish family compared to 4.9 in the Arab family).
The study also found that most of the couples in Israel are married (96 percent). Only 45,000 unmarried couples (3.1 percent of couples) lived in the country in 2006.
The rate of unmarried couples in Israel is lower in comparison to other countries. In the US, for instance, 7.4 percent of the couples are not married, while the average rate of unmarried couples in European stands at 9 percent.