photo by: Milan Rout

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics published that the average number of children in an Israeli family is 3.72. If in the past a high birth was attributed to religion and nationalism, today it seems that secular women also give birth to two children. However a particularly interesting, and not necessarily surprising, link has been identified between the net per capita income rate, that is, the wealth index and location in economic percentiles, and the number of children per family. It is clearly evident that the rich have fewer children than the poor. In the lower percentile, 40.5% of families have more than three children. and in the top percentiles, 81% of families have no children and only 3.5% have three children or older. The rich have less children. The Israeli average per capita income was approximately $5550 (NIS 19,118) a month. That is not enough to sustain a family. A high birth rate usually entails a poverty problem. Multi-child families, especially in the modern age, who fail to provide for their children’s economic, educational, and cultural needs. It just costs too much money. These days, as opposed to years past, it is increasingly difficult to support several children. In the past, children’s possessions could be handed down from child to child. Previously, a coat bought for one was repeatedly patched, and reused until it fell apart.Nowadays every child needs a phone, a computer, an electric scooter, goes to classes, needs a babysitter, a driver’s license, a car, a bicycle, private lessons and, later in life, their own place to live. It is an expensive endeavor and not one that can be passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, in most Western countries, the birth rate is declining. This, amongst other things, allows the development of both spouses’ careers. Raising children in an average or poor families can mean sealing them in the endless cycle of poverty. It is more difficult for them to acquire an education and therefore it is harder for them to engage in free professions, which ensures low incomes and high ignorance rates. It means that future generation are prevented from earning a high income and are stuck in the lower economic percentiles. There is also another aspect to this issue, the state’s ability to provide services to the rapidly growing population. High natural reproduction, even in rich countries, prevents the country development in step with the population and its mechanisms begin to collapse. This can be seen in Israel: Starting from the increased congestion on the roads, Israel simply does not keep pace with the purchase of vehicles and the increase in population. Even if mass transportation systems are installed, it is not certain that they will be able to withstand population pressure. The educational infrastructure is also in trouble. There are not enough teachers and not enough classrooms, so students in one of the world’s most crowded educational systems. Hospitals are almost fully occupied year-round, and the news shows constantly present overloaded emergency rooms, a shortage of doctors and nurses, shortage of inpatient beds and sometimes even medication.


And what about the housing crisis? The housing market has also seen a steady rise in housing prices. It is true that growth is a positive thing, but it does not serve the young couples who cannot afford to buy an apartment or are chained to financial institutions for life due to mortgage loans. If housing demand was low, prices would go down. It is a basic question of demand and supply, economics in the most primal sense. No demand-the price drops. But demand in Israel is breaking records, among other things, because the pace of construction does not meet the needs of the population, especially not in the urban environments with large population blocs, so everyone is paying more. Ask family in Israel, they’ll know of hand their rent or mortgage costs. These costs directly influence families spending their children.Truth be told, the number of children Israeli families have can be explained by many additional factors. However, they should not avoid the bottom line, Kids are a blessing, but two is enough.


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