Wealthiest vs. poorest Israelis

The last time such a survey was conducted during 1992-93, food accounted for 20 percent of all expenditures. That figure fell to 17.7 percent by last year. On the other hand the amount spent on transportation and communications jumped from 16.1 percent to 19.2 percent.

According to the figures, there are 4.1 rooms in a house for a family in the top decile of the population, and 3.3 rooms for a family in the bottom decile. At the same time, a family in the top decile comprises some 2.6 members, while the lowest decile comprises 5.9 members.

This implies there are 0.65 persons to a room in the upper decile of the population compared to 1.8 persons in the lowest.

Only 24 percent of the poorest decile have purchased their own homes, compared to 84 percent at the other end of the spectrum.

Overall expenditure in the upper decile reaches a monthly average of $3,647 , as opposed to $1,177 for the lowest decile.

Spending on food among the top 20 percent of earners averaged $494, while it dropped to $338 for the lowest 20 percent. The difference is more noticeable in spending on education, culture and entertainment — $483 compared to $153.

The figures are based on a survey of 5,230 households. The results of a similar bureau study of the rural population will be published in the future.