In honor of International Day of the Elderly

Wednesday, October 18, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
In honor of the International Day of the Elderly data was released revealing that there are 687,500 people 65 years or older living in Israel.

Half of the elderly in Israel live without a pension or little pension and live only from their life insurance. Twenty-five percent of the elderly in Israel live below the poverty line.

In 1960, people aged 65 and older were 5 percent of the population (687,000). By 2005, these numbers drastically increased to 10 percent. It is predicted that by the year 2025 the elderly will comprise of 13 percent (1.2 million people) of the total population.

There are 18 Members of Knesset (parliament) serving in the government who are over age 65. The oldest is Vice Premier Shimon Peres, 83, who has served since 1959.

Since 1980 the life expectancy at birth in Israel has increased by 5.4 years for men, reaching the age of 77.5 in 2002, and for women it has increased by 5.8 years, reaching the age of 81.5. The life expectancy for men is only one year behind that of Japan, the world’s highest, and four years behind for women, ranking them sixth in the world.

There are currently 1,015 people aged 100 or older who live in Israel today, including two who are aged 119. Two-thirds of them are women.

Cities with the highest percentage of the elderly can be found in the general Tel Aviv area. Givataim, slightly north of Tel Aviv, registered as having 20 percent of its residents as elderly with 10,400, followed by Bat Yam with 19 percent (24,500). Other cities with the highest population of elderly residents included Ramat Gan at 18 percent (23,000) and Haifa also at 18 percent with 48,000 people. Fifteen percent of the population of Tel Aviv is elderly, while Jerusalem only registered at 8.6 percent.

In 2004, for every 1,000, 186 of them were elderly. In Japan, it was 310 to every 1,000 people, 299 in Germany and 263 in Britain.

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