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Israel's Haredi Population: Progress and Challenges

October 2015

In 2014, an estimated 911,000 Haredim lived in Israel.

  • 58% of the Haredi population is age 19 or younger (an estimated 520,000 children), compared with 36% of the broader Israeli population.
  • 3% are age 65 or older, compared with 11% of the broader Israeli population.

Between 2014 and 2034, the percentage of Haredim in the population is expected to increase:

  • In the overall population from 11% to 17% (1)
  • Among children ages 0-19: from 16% to 27% (1)
  • Among elderly age 65 and older: from 3% to 5% (1)

Haredi life expectancy is the same as for other Israeli Jews, and is projected to rise in similar fashion (from 80.8 years for men and 84.8 years for women in 2014 to 84.5 years for men and 89.3 years for women in 2034). (1)

Haredi Families

  • Of all families with children from birth to age 18, 28% have 5 or more children, compared with 8% in the overall population.
  • In 2009, the average fertility rate for Haredi women was 6.2 children, compared with 2.4 in the non-Haredi Jewish population.  This rate is expected to decrease to 5.3 children by 2030.(1)

Education

  • At age 14, the vast majority of Haredi boys cease secular studies.
  • In 2014, 25% of first-grade students (about 30,000 students) were enrolled in Haredi schools.  This percentage was similar in the upper grades.(4) 
  • In 2013-14, 8.6% of Haredi 17-year-olds received a general matriculation certificate, compared with 70.9% of all other Jewish 17-year-olds.  4.4% received a university-level matriculation certificate, compared with 60.7% of all other Jewish 17-year-olds.(8)
  • In 2011, among Haredim ages 22-64, an estimated 6% of men and 14% of women had higher education, compared with 29% in the general Jewish population.(2) 
  • Interest in academic studies in the Haredi sector has increased. In 2015, about 9,800 Haredi students were enrolled in institutions of higher education, up from 6,800 in 2013.(3)

Employment  

  • There has been progress over the past decade in Haredi employment, but the gaps for men remain very large, as reported by the Bank of Israel. 
  • For women ages 25-64, the rates increased from 50.9% in 2003 to 65.4% in 2012 and then to 70.8% in 2014, and are approaching the rates of non-Haredi Jewish women (80%).(2, 3) 
  • For men ages 25-64, rates of employment increased from 36.6% in 2003 to 41.2 in 2012 and then to 45.2% in 2014, but remain far below the rates for non-Haredi Jewish men (86%).(2, 3) 
  • For Haredi men ages 25-40, employment rates are even lower; in 2011, only 34% were employed. 
  • There is a significant gap in monthly earnings between Haredim and all Israelis. In 2013, Haredi men had average monthly earnings of 10,310 NIS compared with 12,130 NIS among all Israeli men.  Haredi women earned 5,838 NIS per month compared with 8,066 NIS for all Israeli women. (6)

Poverty 

  • The gaps in employment rates, education, and family size translate into major gaps in economic status between Haredim and other Jews.
  • Poverty rates have been increasing since 2000.  In 2013, 66.1% of Haredi families lived below the poverty line.(5)

Military/National Service Participation

  • In recent years, there have been efforts to integrate Haredi men into the military.  In 2013, about 3,000 Haredi men served in the military, in both integrated and segregated units.(7)

Sources:

(1) Central Bureau of Statistics, 2012. Long-Range Population Projections for Israel: 2009-2059.

(2) Special Analysis of Central Bureau of Statistics, Labor Force Study, 2011.

(3) State of Israel, Second Progress Report on the Implementation of the OECD Recommendations: Labour Market and Social Policies (August 2015).

(4) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract 2014, Table 8.10.

(5) National Insurance Institute. Poverty Report 2014.

(6) Special Analysis of Central Bureau of Statistics Income Study. 2013.

(7) JDC-Tevet.

(8) Ministry of Education, Matriculation Statistics 2014.

 

In 2014, an estimated 911,000 Haredim lived in Israel.

  • 58% of the Haredi population is age 19 or younger (an estimated 520,000 children), compared with 36% of the broader Israeli population.
  • 3% are age 65 or older, compared with 11% of the broader Israeli population.

Between 2014 and 2034, the percentage of Haredim in the population is expected to increase:

  • In the overall population from 11% to 17% (1)
  • Among children ages 0-19: from 16% to 27% (1)
  • Among elderly age 65 and older: from 3% to 5% (1)

Haredi life expectancy is the same as for other Israeli Jews, and is projected to rise in similar fashion (from 80.8 years for men and 84.8 years for women in 2014 to 84.5 years for men and 89.3 years for women in 2034). (1)

Haredi Families

  • Of all families with children from birth to age 18, 28% have 5 or more children, compared with 8% in the overall population.
  • In 2009, the average fertility rate for Haredi women was 6.2 children, compared with 2.4 in the non-Haredi Jewish population.  This rate is expected to decrease to 5.3 children by 2030.(1)

Education

  • At age 14, the vast majority of Haredi boys cease secular studies.
  • In 2014, 25% of first-grade students (about 30,000 students) were enrolled in Haredi schools.  This percentage was similar in the upper grades.(4) 
  • In 2013-14, 8.6% of Haredi 17-year-olds received a general matriculation certificate, compared with 70.9% of all other Jewish 17-year-olds.  4.4% received a university-level matriculation certificate, compared with 60.7% of all other Jewish 17-year-olds.(8)
  • In 2011, among Haredim ages 22-64, an estimated 6% of men and 14% of women had higher education, compared with 29% in the general Jewish population.(2) 
  • Interest in academic studies in the Haredi sector has increased. In 2015, about 9,800 Haredi students were enrolled in institutions of higher education, up from 6,800 in 2013.(3)

Employment  

  • There has been progress over the past decade in Haredi employment, but the gaps for men remain very large, as reported by the Bank of Israel. 
  • For women ages 25-64, the rates increased from 50.9% in 2003 to 65.4% in 2012 and then to 70.8% in 2014, and are approaching the rates of non-Haredi Jewish women (80%).(2, 3) 
  • For men ages 25-64, rates of employment increased from 36.6% in 2003 to 41.2 in 2012 and then to 45.2% in 2014, but remain far below the rates for non-Haredi Jewish men (86%).(2, 3) 
  • For Haredi men ages 25-40, employment rates are even lower; in 2011, only 34% were employed. 
  • There is a significant gap in monthly earnings between Haredim and all Israelis. In 2013, Haredi men had average monthly earnings of 10,310 NIS compared with 12,130 NIS among all Israeli men.  Haredi women earned 5,838 NIS per month compared with 8,066 NIS for all Israeli women. (6)

Poverty 

  • The gaps in employment rates, education, and family size translate into major gaps in economic status between Haredim and other Jews.
  • Poverty rates have been increasing since 2000.  In 2013, 66.1% of Haredi families lived below the poverty line.(5)

Military/National Service Participation

  • In recent years, there have been efforts to integrate Haredi men into the military.  In 2013, about 3,000 Haredi men served in the military, in both integrated and segregated units.(7)

Sources:

(1) Central Bureau of Statistics, 2012. Long-Range Population Projections for Israel: 2009-2059.

(2) Special Analysis of Central Bureau of Statistics, Labor Force Study, 2011.

(3) State of Israel, Second Progress Report on the Implementation of the OECD Recommendations: Labour Market and Social Policies (August 2015).

(4) Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract 2014, Table 8.10.

(5) National Insurance Institute. Poverty Report 2014.

(6) Special Analysis of Central Bureau of Statistics Income Study. 2013.

(7) JDC-Tevet.

(8) Ministry of Education, Matriculation Statistics 2014.

 

  Israel's Haredi population October 2015
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