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Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per Capita and Gini Index

This  indicator expresses a population’s economic wellbeing and buying power while highlighting social inequality

 GDP increased, social gaps increased, and environmental inequality became more severe

Between the years 1995 and 2009, GDP per capita in Israel increased by 23%, from approximately 76,000 New Israeli Shekels (NIS) per capita to approximately 94,000 NIS per capita. It is important to note that the rise in GDP corresponded with a rise in consumption and increased demands on the environment, an expansion of built-up areas, increased energy and water consumption, increased motorization, and an increase in distances travelled. Simultaneously the Gini Index of income inequality also rose during these years by approximately 16%, from 0.3365 to 0.3982. Compared to OECD states, Israel ranks second (after Mexico) with approximately 20% of the population below the poverty line. This population lacks purchasing power, and its household consumption is minimal and solely for subsistence. Israel ranks third on the OECD scale of countries with the greatest social inequality (2005 data).

 It may be concluded that the increase in GDP corresponds with an increase in the social gaps within Israeli society, and pressures on the environment therefore come primarily from those with higher incomes, a relatively small sector with ever-increasing economic means, which consumes environmental resources at a disproportionate rate compared to other sectors of the population.

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