The Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities (hereinafter, the Commission) seeks to expand the available data on the situation of people with disabilities in Israel by publishing annual reports and promoting initiatives for the improvement of the related databases. At the request of the Commission, the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute has published annual statistical reports and presentations on people with disabilities in Israel since 2015. The annually updated data provide policy makers, professionals, researchers, activists, the media, and the public at large with information on the situation of people with disabilities in Israel compared with the situation of people without disabilities.
The goal of this presentation is to present an up-to-date picture of people with disabilities in Israel: the rate of disability; the severity of disability among various age groups; and the status of people with disabilities compared with that of people without disabilities in various spheres of life, e.g., education, employment, economic status, personal resilience, and community resilience. The presentation also presents up-to-date selected statistical data on people with disabilities classified by population segment and gender.
The researchers at the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute conducted a secondary analysis of the data collected through the Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) for 2020. The survey, aimed at examining the social and economic status of the population in Israel, has been conducted annually since 2002 among a representative sample of about 9,000 adults (aged 20 and over) living in the community. In addition, the presentation includes a special analysis (conducted as part of a national study of children with disabilities in Israel) of administrative data regarding students who were registered in 2020 with the Special Education Division at the Ministry of Education.
Estimates and adjustments for non-response bias were performed based on the following sources of information:
- Data calculated by the CBS, for the correction of prevalence findings regarding people with disabilities following adjustment for non-response bias in the Social Survey.
- The recent CBS Population Census (2008), for the calculation of estimates of institution residents (including residents of retirement homes, hostels, and assisted living residences).
- The Statistical Abstract of Israel (2021), for the calculation of updated estimates following adjustment for non-response bias in the Social Survey and the inclusion of population segments excluded from the survey (children and youth under 20; residents of unrecognized localities; and institution residents, e.g., residents of retirement homes, hostels, and prisons).
- The national study of children with disabilities in Israel, for the calculation of updated estimates of children with disabilities.
- The data indicate that there are gaps between people with disabilities and people without disabilities in almost all spheres of life examined, for instance,
– Education: 40% of adults with disabilities in the 20-64 age group (working age population) do not have a matriculation certificate, compared with 23% of adults without disabilities in the same age group.
– Employment: The employment rate of people with disabilities is lower than that of their counterparts without disabilities, and the wages of people with disabilities are lower than the wages earned by their counterparts without disabilities. Consequently, 14% of people with disabilities cannot cover their monthly expenses, compared with 5% of people without disabilities.
– Optimism about their lives in the coming years: 54% of people with disabilities expect their lives in general to improve in the coming years while 43% expect their economic status to improve, compared with 70% and 63%, respectively, among people without disabilities. Furthermore, 46% of people with disabilities estimated that if they lose their job there is no chance or there is only a small chance that they will find another job at the same income level, compared with 30% of people without disabilities.
– Social ties and community resilience: 33% of adults with disabilities in the 20-64 age group feel lonely, frequently or from time to time, compared with 15% of their counterparts without disabilities.
- The gaps between people with disabilities and people without disabilities are higher in the Arab population than in the Jewish population and the other populations in Israel (non-Arab Christians, members of other religions, and persons without religious classification):
– Education: 32% of people with disabilities in the Jewish population and the other populations are not eligible for a matriculation certificate, compared with 19% of people without disabilities, that is, a gap of 13%. At the same time, 66% of people with disabilities in the Arab population are not eligible for a matriculation certificate, compared with 40% of people without disabilities, that is, a gap of 26%.
– Employment and economic status: The gaps are even higher in this category. For instance, 4% of people without disabilities in the Jewish population and the other populations cannot cover their monthly expenses, compared with 10% of people with disabilities. The corresponding rates in the Arab population are 8% of people without disabilities, compared with 28% of people with disabilities.
- In contrast, the gaps between men and women with disabilities seem to be similar to the gaps between men and women without disabilities. More women than men – with or without disabilities – have academic education. However, the employment rate of women – with or without disabilities – is lower than that of men, so that they find it more difficult than men to cover their monthly expenses.
 Barlev, L; Namer Furstenberg, R.; & Guedj, N. (2021). Children With Disabilities in Israel: A National Study. RR 885-21. The Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. (Hebrew)
Barlev, L., Nagar Eidelman, R. & Konstantinov, V. (2022). People With Disabilities in Israel. Selected Statistical Data 2021. S-206-22. Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. (Hebrew)