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Oriental Families Catching Up with Western Jews, but Gap Remains

Israel’s Oriental community is benefiting to some extent from rising living standards but a substantial gap remains between its average income and that of Western Jews, and the number of Orientals completing a high school education seems to be declining, according to the latest national census released today by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Statistics showed that Oriental pupils comprise only half of the first grade of high school and less than one-third in the top grade; 96.4 percent of Oriental immigrant families owned an electric refrigerator after a year in the country; 60 percent had television sets, and nearly one-third possessed washing machines. But only 17.9 percent of the Oriental immigrants had a telephone compared to 54 percent of Western immigrants.

The statistics also showed that 9.2 percent of the Oriental community owned a car against 22.1 percent of the Westerners and 34.9 percent of native-born Israelis. The average annual income of urban families was IL 14,000 for Western immigrants compared to IL 10,700 for Orientals.

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