Did you know?

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 education and skills, housing, environmental quality, personal security, 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 25 908 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 63% of women. In Israel,almost 16% of employees work very long hours, one of the highest in the OECD where the average is 13%. About 24% of men work very long hours compared with 8% for 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 75%. This is truer of women than men, as 84% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 85% 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 in large urban areas, higher than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. Israel could also perform better in terms of water quality, as only 68% 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 87% 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 68% during recent elections, in line with the OECD average. 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 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 7.4 grade, higher than the OECD average of 6.6.

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.

Read this report

Find Out More

Israel in Detail