Ashkenazim, Sephardim Get Closer — In Income Levels

YERUSHALAYIM -

The historic economic inequality between between Ashkenazim and Sephardim in Israel has diminished significantly in recent years, according to a new study at the Hebrew University.

The net income gap between Ashkenazi households and Sephardi households narrowed from 40% to 27% during the period 1995 to 2011, according to data compiled by Prof. Momi Dahan.

More Sephardim are making it into the higher socieoconomic classes, and fewer are left at the bottom. In 1979, they accounted for half of Israel’s bottom 10%, while accounting for 46% of the population; 30 years later, Sephardim were 11% of Israel’s bottom 10%, while accounting for 27% of the population.

Near the top, there was also progress. In 2010-2011, for the first time, the Sephardi share of the top 10% equaled their proportion of the population.

The study attributed the change in large part to a rise in educational levels among Sephardim.

However, Dahan noted that the income gap — still about 25% — continues to be a source of concern, especially considering the amount of time elapsed since the mass immigration to Israel in the 1950s.