A report published on Thursday by Israel's Central Bureau for Statistics on life expectancies in Israeli cities showed a significant disparity between Jewish and Arab populations. The predominantly Jewish city of Ra'anana scored first place with an average life expectancy of 85.5 years, while at the bottom of the list was the southern Bedouin city of Rahat, with 77.1 years.
The 8.4 year difference can be explained by the differences in citizens' access to medical services, exposure to pollution, and quality of life, among other factors.
The average life expectancy for Israel as a whole was 80.8 years in 2009, and went up to 81.6 in 2011.
Ra'anana was followed by Modiin-Maccabim-Reut and Beit Shemesh, with 84.1 and 83.1 year life expectancies respectively. Ramat Gan and Herzliya came in fourth and fifth place at 82.6 years. Among the larger Israeli cities, Tel Aviv ranked below the national average at 80.1 years.
The predominantly Arab northern city of Nazareth fared only slightly better than Rahat, with a 77.9 year average. Two other large mixed cities, in which Arabs comprise at least 20 percent of the population, did not score well compared to the national average; Lod had a 78.6 year life expectancy and Ramle 78.2.
The Healthy Ministry stated that the CBS document showed a narrowing of the gaps compared to previous years. The ministry and health clinics have been implementing measures nationwide to eliminate the inequality between different sectors of the population.