Material Hardship in Israel
Author: Haya Stier, Alisa Lewin
November 25, 2013
This study focuses on material hardships faced by the poor in Israel, and the manner in which various groups of poor people, primarily Arab Israelis and Haredim, deal with these economic difficulties.
The study, based on the Central Bureau of Statistics Social Survey data, reveals that a large number of Israelis experience economic difficulties in buying food, paying for basic needs, and obtaining medical care and prescribed drugs. As was expected, those who suffer from poverty also suffer material hardship, although economic difficulties are not limited to the poor. It was found that different groups of the poor are distinguished by the number of concessions they are forced to make. Poor Arab Israelis consistently experience more severe material hardship than Haredim, since many of them also grew up in poverty and they have fewer support networks relative to Haredim. These findings have important implications for social policies, especially due to the long-term consequences of economic hardship on health and the inter-generational transmission of poverty and they draw attention to the need to lessen material hardships among the poor.
This paper appears in the Center’s annual publication State of the Nation Report – Society, Economy and Policy 2013.