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indicator value unit
Population 7.9 mil.
Visitors per year 3.5 mil.
Renewable energy 4.88 %

How’s Life?

Israel performs well in few measures of well-being in the Better Life Index. Israel ranks above the average in health status and subjective well-being, but below average in income and wealth, education and skills, housing, environmental quality, work-life balance, social connections and civic engagement.

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 USD 29 016 a year.

In terms of employment, 68% of people aged 15 to 64 in Israel have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 72% of men are in paid work, compared with 64% of women. In Israel, almost 15% of employees work very long hours. About 22% of men work very long hours compared with 7% of women.

Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In Israel, 85% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, higher than the OECD average of 76%. This is truer of women than men, as 84% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 86% 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 PM2.5 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 25.9 micrograms per cubic meter, one of the highest levels in the OECD where average is of 14.05 micrograms per cubic meter. Israel could also perform better in terms of water quality, as only 65% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, compared with an OECD average of 81%, and one of the lowest rates in the OECD.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Israel, where 86% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, slightly lower than the OECD average of 88%. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens' participation in the political process, was 72% during recent elections, higher than with the OECD average of 68%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 79% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 71%, a narrower gap than the OECD average gap of 13 percentage points.

In general, Israelis are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average. When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Israelis gave it a 7.1 grade, higher than the OECD average of 6.5.

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


OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Israel 2016

This 2016 OECD Economic Survey of Israel examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. The special chapters cover: Special Features: Boosting competition on Israeli markets and Improving the pension system.

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Israel in Detail