While there has been an increase in poverty among the general population, the findings point to a decline in poverty rates among the elderly over time. These lower poverty rates relative to the younger population are achieved primarily through the National Insurance Institute old-age benefits that constitute a safety net for many people, as well as through income from retirement pensions. In practice, poverty rates among those entitled to pensions are extremely low. When the elderly population is broken down into three groups, long-term residents, immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Arab Israelis, poverty rates were found to be higher among the two groups with low pension entitlement – immigrants and Arab Israelis. One way that some of the elderly deal with poverty and hardship is to live with younger, working family members. Such living arrangements are especially typical among Arab Israelis and Russian immigrants, granting them a higher economic standing than they would have living on their own and helping them avoid poverty.
This paper appears as a chapter in the Center’s annual publication, State of the Nation Report 2014, Dan Ben-David (editor).