This study of the social and economic disparities in Israel spans the period from the early 1920s up to the present. An investigation into historical development is combined with a thorough analysis of causes of economic inequality and poverty. Special attention is paid to the socio-economic differences between and within the communities — the two main Jewish groups (European and Oriental) and the Arab population. Further subjects include the examination of the impact of economic growth and structural changes on inequality; the analysis of income distribution by family types; and the influence of the working wife on family income and inequality. International comparisons and the analysis of inequality in the world show Israel in a wider perspective and lend the study a more general character.