Tel Aviv Area Gets Poorer While Standard of Living Rises in West Bank Settlements

Figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics point to falling living standards in many municipalities.

Lior Dattel
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The standard of living in the Gush Dan region in and around Tel Aviv deteriorated during 2006-2008 while that of the West Bank settlements rose, figures released Wednesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics show.

Savyon, Kfar Shmaryahu and Omer have maintained their rank as the communities with the highest standard of living. These communities’ combined population is under 10,800 − 0.14 percent of the national population − and their residents’ average income is nine times higher than the Israeli average.

Altogether, the standard of living in one-third of the country’s 199 municipalities and local communities dropped in 2006-2008, while it improved in only 25 of them. Most communities’ standing remained the same.

The statistics bureau updates its socioeconomic data every few years by dividing the total number of communities into deciles, or 10ths, according to which the 10th decile is made up of the wealthiest 10th of the country’s communities. ‏(The division into deciles presents a general picture of the standard of living in the communities, but is mainly intended as a means to distribute state funds.‏)

The standard of living in Givatayim, Ramat Gan, Kiryat Ono and Hadera fell in 2006-2008. Hadera, for example, dropped from the sixth decile of communities in 2006 to the fifth in 2008. The gross average income in Hadera had been NIS 5,125 in 2006.

The socioeconomic rank of many middle-class and upper-middle-class communities dropped. Givatayim and Kiryat Ono were once ranked in the ninth decile, but in 2008 they slipped to the eighth, which incudes Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ramat Gan, Herzliya, Ra’anana and Hod Hasharon. Rishon Letzion, meanwhile, skidded from the seventh decile to the sixth, as did Azur.

Holon, Netanya and Yavne, formerly part of the sixth decile, are now part of the fifth. Jerusalem, by comparison, is in the fourth decile.

Netanya's coast line.Credit: Yossi Maimon
Single-family housing in Kfar Shmaryahu, where living standards have remained high.Credit: David Bachar