Data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Wednesday indicate that 31% of Israelis are at risk of falling into poverty, compared with an average of 17% in the European Union. Among the EU states, Spain and Greece had the highest percentage of citizens at risk of poverty – 20%.
The CBS report, which analyzed statistics compiled in 2011, indicates a rise in the number of Israelis and Europeans who are at risk of poverty. In 2011, 31% of Israelis were at risk of poverty, up from 26% in 2001. Apart from Germany and Sweden, Israel recorded the sharpest increase in the number of citizens who are at risk of plunging into poverty when compared with the EU states.
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The statistics further show that in 2011, the percentage of Israeli children who were at risk of falling below the poverty line stood at 40%, compared with a 20% average in the EU bloc. In 2005, the percentage of Israeli children who were at risk of poverty stood at 38.3%. The sharpest rise in the number of children at risk of poverty in the EU was registered in Sweden (from 10.5% eight years ago to 14.5% in 2011).
According to the CBS report, 44% of single-parent families in Israel were at risk of poverty in 2011, compared with 41% in 2001. On average, 35% of single-parent families in the EU were at risk of falling below the poverty line in 2011.
The report also showed that in Israel the labor force participation rate – the employment proportion of the working age population – is only slightly higher than in the EU. In 2012, the unemployment rate among Israelis aged 25-64 stood at 5.9%, compared with a 7% average in states belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The report also focused on higher education in Israel and other OECD states. In 2011, the percentage of Israelis with a bachelor's or master's degree stood at 36%. On average, the percentage of people with these degrees on the OECD states stood at 39%, with the highest percentage recorded in Poland – 58%, and the lowest in Mexico and Turkey – 21% and 23%, respectively. In most OECD states the number of women with academic degrees is significantly higher than the number of men with academic degrees, according to the CBS statistics.
According to the report, the homicide rate in Israel (the number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants) is 2.4, close to the OECD average of 2.1. In 2010 the percentage of Israelis who reported falling victim to assault was 1.8%, compared with a 3% average in the OECD. The data also showed that in 2010, 73.3% of Israelis felt safe walking alone at night, higher than the OECD average of 67.3%.
The data also indicated a drop in road deaths in OECD countries over the past decade. Israel is among the 10 countries with the lowest number of fatalities per one billion kilometers driven.
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