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Ethiopian Jewry: Statistics for Ethiopian Jews in Israel



  • Only 1/3 of Ethiopian students in elementary and middle school receive grades at or above the national average.
  • Approximately 40% of Ethiopian students grades 1-9 cannot read or write at their grade level.
  • 6.2% of Ethiopian students aged 14-17 dropout, as opposed to 3.5% in the general population.
  • More than 3% of Ethiopian students are in special education.
  • 32% of Ethiopian students (as opposed to 50% in the general population) are eligible for matriculation exams for higher education each year.
  • Over the past four years there was no substantial increase in the numbers of Ethiopian students in higher education - Approximately 1,000 on average yearly and approximately 1,000 on average in preparatory courses.
  • There is a significantly higher rate of crime and at-risk behavior among Ethiopian youth.


  • 47% of Ethiopian adults, ages 25 - 54 do not participate in the Israeli labor market in any form, as opposed to 24% of other Israelis of the same age group.
  • Only 38% of Ethiopian women ages 25 - 54 are in the labor market, as opposed to 68% of other Israeli women of the same age group.
  • More than 90% of Ethiopian immigrants, who are employed, work in low-paying manual labor and minimum wage positions.
  • 62% of Ethiopian families have no income at all.
  • 72% of Ethiopian children live in households below the poverty line.
  • The majority of Ethiopian immigrants with professional degrees and/or degrees of higher education are unable to find work in their fields.

Sources: Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews (IAEJ)