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The Israeli family of 2008

Surveys show that over the years there has been a constant increase in the proportion of alternative families in Israel, such as single-parent, same-sex, or unmarried couples.

by Shahar Nir *

Zeppelin family. 19th century painting. From Wikipedia
Zeppelin family. 19th century painting. From Wikipedia

The family in Israel is no longer what it used to be. According to the survey data of the Central Bureau of Statistics in 2008 there were approximately 1.71 million families in Israel. Surveys show that over the years there has been a constant increase in the proportion of alternative families in Israel, such as single-parent, same-sex or unmarried couples.

A question of definition

The Central Bureau of Statistics defines the term nuclear family as "two or more people living in the same household, and related to each other as husband and wife, as parent and child or as an unmarried couple". From this we can learn that the traditional definition of a family that includes a father and a mother who are legally married and have biological children in common is no longer necessarily valid.

Less than two-thirds of 'normal' families

From a CBS survey It turns out that less than two-thirds of the families are families that meet the traditional definition of a family. The rest of the families include spouses who were not married in the rabbinate, including those who were married in a civil marriage (3%), couples who were not married at all and related to each other as known to the public (6%) or spouses who cannot consummate marriage due to being invalid for marriage, such as couples of different religions (10%) or Members of the same sex (1%). In addition there are the families with only one parent (7%) which in the vast majority (91%) are headed by a woman. Finally, let's mention the same-sex families, of which 32% are raising children (25% of a female couple and 7% of a male couple)

More types of engagements

Since 2002, there has been a steady decline in the rate of marriage among members of all religions in Israel. A particularly sharp decrease was recorded in 2005 and amounted to a rate of 35%, an incredible figure on a global scale. For comparison, Israel is together with New Zealand in sixth place with 75% married couples, with the USA in first place with 93% and Sweden in last place with about 5%.

A sharp increase in single-parent families

The growth rate of single-parent families in Israel is also one of the highest in the world, with an increase of about 90% in the last two decades. In relation to other countries, Israel is in 5th place in the world with a rate of 7% together with Belgium, France and Italy compared to the USA which is in first place (16%) and Germany, Luxembourg and Japan with 5%.

Are there fewer divorces?

An interesting statistic is a moderate decrease in divorce claims in relation to the population as a whole. This phenomenon can be explained by the decrease in marriage rates that was mentioned earlier. Of course, this figure does not include couples who separate and are not registered in the official institutions of the state. For comparison in Israel the divorce rate (among married couples) is 26% compared to 65% in Russia with the highest rate and 12% in Canada with the lowest rate.
The happiness index and the economy of freedom

Additional results from the survey: 85% of those living in a household reported that they are satisfied with their lives even though 45% of them are unable to cover their expenses, compared to 71% of respondents who do not belong to a household, among whom 45% are unable to cover their expenses.

The surveys show that most of us are satisfied with our lives and our families, but the important conclusion from the data indicates that the exercise of our freedom of choice regarding how we will live our lives is increasing, and perhaps this is the explanation for our satisfaction.

Shahar Nir is an editor KIDOZ website

4 תגובות

  1. Already 40 years ago, Alvin Toffler wrote in his book: "The Shock of the Future" that the engagement between spouses will go out of the traditional framework of a man + woman, officially married, to a number of alternative frameworks. Today we see to what extent his predictions have come true and not only in this area.

  2. I find it strange that only 5% of Swedes are defined as married.
    What happens to the rest of the population? Publicly known?

  3. Adam Red:
    This is what happens when you try to put apples and peanuts together.
    In the US, 93% of couples are married (the rest *couples* are not married).
    Single parents - as we know - are not couples

  4. In the USA 93% of couples are married and another 16% are single parents... really interesting statistics

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