Ethiopians Earn 40 Percent Less Than Average Israeli Household

The average Ethiopian-origin household has 4.1 family members, compared with 3.3 for the general population, the stats bureau says.

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Ethiopian Israeli protest leaders at a press conference in Tel Aviv, May 10, 2015.
Ethiopian Israeli protest leaders at a press conference in Tel Aviv, May 10, 2015.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Lee Yaron
Lee Yaron

The average Ethiopian-Israeli household earns 40 percent less than the average Israeli household, but fewer Ethiopians are filing for income support, the Central Bureau of Statistics said this week.

The stats bureau published the data Tuesday in honor of the Sigd holiday the following day.

Ethiopian-community households average a monthly gross income of 11,496 shekels ($2,940), compared with 18,329 shekels for the overall population.

Average household spending for Ethiopian families was 33 percent lower than for the general population: 10,075 shekels a month compared with 15,053 shekels.

But there has been a fall in the number of Ethiopian Israelis filing for guaranteed income support and who must appear at Employment Service offices. That number has dropped to 57 percent today from 65 percent in January 2013, the Employment Service said.

About 10 percent of Ethiopian-Israeli immigrants have to appear once a month at the Employment Service, compared with 4 percent for the general population.

At the end of last year there were 138,200 Israelis of Ethiopian origin in Israel;  85,600 were born in Ethiopia and 52,600 were born here with their fathers born in Ethiopia.

There were 27,300 Ethiopian-Israeli households — 1.2 percent of all Israeli households. The average Ethiopian household had 4.1 family members, compared with 3.3 for the general population.

Some 38 percent of Ethiopian Israelis live in the center of the country, and 24 percent live in the south. At the end of last year, Netanya was the city with the greatest number of Ethiopian Israelis, 11,200.

Also, 89 percent of Ethiopian Israelis married within the community, with the average marriage age higher than for the general population.

In the 2013-14 school year, some 2,500 12th-grade students of Ethiopian origin took the matriculation exams. The percentage of Ethiopians taking the tests was similar to the nationwide average for Jewish students, 91 percent versus 93 percent, but the percentage of those passing was 56 percent compared with 75 percent.

The figures are even lower for exam results that meet the requirements for university admission. Only 31 percent of Ethiopian Israeli students met the criteria, compared with 63 percent in the general Jewish education system.

Last year, 211 people immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia, the lowest number since 2000 — and 85 percent less than in 2013, when 1,355 people came. The steep drop has been underway since September 2013 and stems from the cabinet’s decision to end efforts to bring in Ethiopian immigrants, the Central Bureau of Statistics says.

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