More than one out of every three Israeli children lives under the poverty line, according to the 2006 annual statistics report submitted by the National Council for the Child (NCC) to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last Wednesday. According to the report, in 2005 about 35% of all children living in Israel were considered poor, as compared to 33% in 2004.
The statistical data provided by the NCC reveal that at the end of 2005, 2,326,400 children lived in Israel. Although the number of children in the population has risen in recent years, the percentage of children in the general population has continued to decrease. While in 1970, children comprised 39.2% of the population, in 2005 this percentage had decreased to just 33.3%. This decline applies to all sectors of the population, including the Muslim sector, in which the percentage of children in the general population declined from 58.7% in 1970 to 48.8% in 2005.
Continuing the trend of recent years, in 2005 there was a rise in children living in single-parent homes. As of last year, 8.6% of all Israeli children were living in single-parent homes, while the percentage of immigrant children living in such homes is about three times larger than that of native Israeli children. One out of every four children who immigrated to Israel or was born to immigrants lives in a single-parent home.