Beitar Ilit is Poorest Town in all of Israel


beitar-illitSavyon boasts Israel’s richest residents and highest socioeconomic level, so says the Central Bureau of Statistics in a report on the country’s municipalities released yesterday. The report uses data from 2006; the previous rankings were released in 2003.

All Israeli municipalities and local authorities are ranked in groups from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the highest standard of living. Savyon, Kfar Shmaryahu and Omer are the only perfect 10s.

The richer towns have higher average income, more cars per person, a higher rate of pupils earning matriculation certificates, and more university students. The three highest-ranked towns are small; together they number only 11,300 people.

At the other end of the spectrum are the towns in the lowest category: Five Bedouin or chareidi communities. Lowest-ranked of all is the chareidi city of Beitar Ilit in the West Bank, followed by the Bedouin town Rahat, Modi’in Ilit, Hura and Lakiya.

The rankings have changed little since 2003. Some 81% of municipalities remained in the group they were in last time around.

Yerushalayim is in the so-called level 4 cluster, as it was in 2003. The capital has a per capita income of NIS 1,848 per month. In an 8th cluster town, the average per capita income is NIS 4,476 per month – such as in Ramat Gan, Ra’anana and Herzliya. Cluster 8 also includes Tel Aviv and Modi’in. A number of large cities farther from the center of the country such as Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon and Ashdod are in cluster 5.

One of the most important factors in the rankings is of course income. The residents of the top group have eight times the average monthly income compared with the lowest grouping, while the gaps are even bigger for the first and last: NIS 8,522 per person in Savyon compared with NIS 686 in Modi’in Ilit, also known as Kiryat Sefer.

The better-off towns also have smaller families: Only 10% of the families in the rich municipalities have four or more children, compared with 57% in the lowest cluster. For example, 55% of families in Rahat have four or more children, while only 5% of those do in Savyon. Residents of the top-ranked towns have seven times more cars per capita than the poorest communities.

The statistics bureau used its own statistics in the study, as well as those from the National Insurance Institute, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and the Religious Services Ministry. The figures also include information on unemployment and recipients of government allowances.

The rankings are important in part because government ministries use them in their criteria for allocating resources between municipalities and local authorities.

Among regional councils, as opposed to cities and local councils, Efal was the richest, followed by Gederot, Gan Raveh, Drom Hasharon and Hof Hasharon. The Abu Basma Regional Council was ranked at the bottom.

{Haaretz/Yair Israel}


  1. I have one married daughter in Beitar Ilit,and another in Kiryat Sefer,and believe me, they are very rich-not in material possesions-but in ruchiyus

  2. #1, I commend you and your family for the strength of character in focusing only on the ruchniyus and not on the gashmius.

    I pray that yours and other families like yours can ensure that your children are able to agree with your singlemindedness and not rebel against yiddishkeit as they did in the ‘Heim’ in Europe.

    Note: In europe, we were the down trodden, not by our own making but rather by the world around us ensuring we have no physical pleasures. This caused many children to seek a new path that didn’t require them to struggle.

    In todays day and age it is our self inflicted poverty that is working against us as our children will grow up and will blame the Torah and parents for all the physical things they feel they need

    Perhaps a balanced lifestyle of both Ruchnius and Gashmius is a way forward?

  3. It’s really not a true equation. While the average income may be lower, I don’t think the goverment took into account gemachim, chalucot(giving out food and clothes for free),tzdakah orginizations that provide food and money,help from family,reduced arnona (because of reduced income )etc plus many times no mishcanta(mortgage) because their apartment was paid for before they got married. I’m not advocating their rolling in dough,but boruch hashem most of them have what they need in gashmiuit.

  4. It says Yoseph and Binyomin wept on each other’s shoulders for the churban in the other’s cheilek. When it came to their own cheilek, they were already working to stop the churban.

    Grown men don’t sit and cry- we learn, we daven, we work, and we don’t make the Torah second to anything chas vesholom chas vesholom and we don’t make goyishe excuses to go out from our obligations. The way forward is the Torah, just like it has been every day and night since B”H we received it on Har Sinai.

    Now grow up and stop crying and stop trying to poison this site with your maskiladik norrishkeit.

  5. I’m surprised at this. We recently moved to Beitar Illit and it just doesn’t feel like a poor city. I guess because everything’s brand new and the city is spic and span. Poverty seemed much worse in some areas is yerushalayim that I lived near. Also we were surprised at how many of the men work here.