The introduction

Arab poverty rates in Israel remained high during this period. In 2005, about 52% of Arab families were poor, and in 2018 that rate has dropped to around 45%. However, it must be noted that, until 2015, there was stability in the level of poverty among the Arabs, and a clear improvement occurred in the past three years only. Over the years, there have been some fluctuations here and there, some of which may be due to factors related to the exchange and variance of the Central Statistics Department surveys. Over the period studied, the number of poor Arabs amounted to nearly half of the Arab population, compared to about one-fifth of the general population in Israel.

Due to the relatively large number of Arab family members (4.5 members on average in an Arab family, compared to 3.1 in a Jewish family), individual and child poverty rates are higher than the general rate. In 2018, the percentage of poor individuals in the Arab community was 47%, and the percentage of poor Arab children was 58%. This means that more than half of the Arab children in Israel live in poor families (Table 1). It was also observed in the Jewish community relative stability and even a certain decrease in the poverty rate during this period (Figure 1), so the large gap between the poverty rates of the two groups remained the same.


This article reviews the state of poverty among the Arab population in Israel between 2005 and 2018. The article refers to the changes that occurred in the Arab society during this period, and its similarity in characteristics to the Jewish population group in terms of family size, the number of workers in the family, the percentage of unemployed persons despite being in the working generation, and the rise in education rates.

However, the level of poverty among the Arab population remains three times higher than that of the Jewish population. One of the possible explanations for this is the widening gaps within the Arab community itself, according to some indicators.

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