One in Every Four Israelis Lives Below Poverty Line

National Insurance Institute report: 1,651,300 Israelis classified as poor in 2008, including 783,000 children.

One in every four Israelis lived below the poverty line in 2008, a National Insurance Institute report revealed on Monday.

The report showed that 1,651,300 people in Israel were classified as poor in 2008, as opposed to 1,630,400 in the preceding year. A total of 420,100 poor families lived in Israel during the year, including 783,000 children.

According to the report, the decline in the number of Israeli children living below the poverty that began in 2007 has continued: from 38.5 percent in 2006, to 34.2 percent in 2007 and 34 percent in 2008.

As such, the report also showed that the global financial crisis did not have a significant effect on the number of poor people in Israel.

"The current Poverty Report testifies to the direct association between going out to work and being rescued from poverty," said Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog.

"Despite the economic crisis, the rise in the rate of participation in the job market, which characterized 2008, has led to a drop in the number of poor families in the Arab sector.

"In contrast to this, among poverty-stricken single-parent families, the rate rose significantly following layoffs."