Photo Credit: Flash 90

Israel’s average household income grew significantly faster than expenditure in 2018, leaving the average Israeli with more disposable income, according to a report published by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) on Tuesday.

However, inequality also increased slightly in 2018, after a three-year-long decline. The Gini income inequality index rose from 0.351 in 2017 to 0.355 in 2018. In 2014, Israel’s Gini index stood at 0.370.

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The Gini index is a statistical measure that represents the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents and is the most commonly used measurement of inequality. The more equal a society is, the lower the Gini index will be.

The average gross household monthly income reached NIS 21,063 in 2018, an increase of 4.3% compared to the previous year, while the total consumption expenditure amounted to NIS 16,475 per month, an increase of only 0.5% compared to the previous year.

The report found that the highest-earning 10% of the population in Israel earned, on average, 8.4 times more than the lowest-earning 10%, while monthly expenditure among Israel’s highest-earning 10% was only 2.4 times that of the lowest-earning 10%.

The highest-earning 10% of the population, which had NIS 40,254 or more in net monthly income, increased their share of the total net income from 22.2% in 2017 to 23% in 2018.

The next highest-earning 10% of the population averaged at NIS 25,671 in monthly net income, while the lowest-earning 10% of the population’s monthly net income averaged only NIS 4,786.

The largest expenditure item for Israeli households was housing, which accounted for 24.8% of total spending. Transportation and communications came in second with 20.4%, and 17.2% of Israelis monthly expenditure was spent on food.

The report found that household spending on health increased by 5.3% in 2018, and spending on food rose by 2.9%. Household spending on clothing and footwear decreased by 4.9%, and education, culture, and entertainment accounted for 4.4% less of household spending compared to the previous year.

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