Israel has Highest Percentage of Poverty and Third Biggest Gap Between Rich and Poor in the West

AP Photo/Bernat Armangu
AP Photo/Bernat Armangu

TEL AVIV – According to a recent OECD report,  Israel has the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line as well the third biggest gap between rich and poor of Western countries.

21 percent of Israelis live below the poverty line, more than Mexico, Chile, and Turkey. The U.S. came in fourth place with 17% living below the poverty line. The OECD average is 11%.

Israel’s income inequality gap is third largest in the world, behind Mexico and the U.S.

According to the report, “Income inequality is on the rise. A quarter of a century ago, the average disposable income of the richest 10% in OECD countries was around seven times higher than that of the poorest 10%; today, it’s around 9½ times higher.”

Israel also ranked high on wage inequality between men and women, with men earning on average 22% more than women, putting Israeli in fourth place behind South Korea, Estonia, and Japan. New Zealand is the country with the smallest wage inequality between men and women at 6%. The OECD average was 15%.