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indicator value unit
Population 7.8 mil.
Visitors per year 2.8 mil.
Renewable energy 4.88 %

How’s Life?

Israel performs well in many measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks close to the average or higher in several topics in the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Israel, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is lower than the OECD average of 23 938 USD a year.

In terms of employment, over 67% of people aged 15 to 64 in Israel have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 71% of men are in paid work, compared with 62% of women. People in Israel work 1 910 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1 765 hours. Almost 19% of employees work very long hours, much higher than the OECD average of 9%, with 28% of men working very long hours compared with 9% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Israel, 83% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, higher than the OECD average of 75%. There is little difference between men and women, as 82% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 84% of women. In terms of the quality of the education system, the average student scored 474 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), below the OECD average of 497. On average in Israel, girls outperformed boys by 11 points, a slightly larger difference than the average OECD gap of 8 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Israel is almost 82 years, two years higher than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 84 years, compared with 80 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 21.4 micrograms per cubic meter, higher than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. Israel could also perform better in terms of water quality, as only 66% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, compared with an OECD average of 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Israel, where 89% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, in line with the OECD average. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 68% during recent elections, lower than the OECD average of 72%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 74% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 66%, a slightly narrower gap than the OECD average gap of 11 percentage points.

In general, Israelis are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 65% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc.) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.). This figure is lower than the OECD average of 76%.

For more information on estimates and years of reference, see FAQ section and BLI database.



OECD in Action

A Skills beyond School Review of Israel

Higher level vocational education and training (VET) programmes are facing rapid change and intensifying challenges. This report on Israel examines what type of training is needed to meet the needs of a changing economy, how programmes should be funded, how they should be linked to academic and university programmes and how employers and unions can be engaged. The country reports in this series look at these and other questions. They form part of Skills beyond School, the OECD policy review of post-secondary vocational education and training.

Read this report

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Israel in Detail