One in eight Israelis lived below the poverty line in 1994, the National Insurance Institute announced last week.
According to the institute, 671,500 people lived under the poverty line – defined as those with a monthly income of less than $780.
The statistics showed that 23,000 more people lived in poverty than the previous year.
Some 42 percent of those under the poverty line were children.
Labor and Social Welfare Minister Ora Namir said government policy had failed to reduce the number of the poor.
She added that a program she initiated last year to fight poverty had a marginal impact.