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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 favourably in several measures of well-being, and 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 is lower than the OECD average of 23 047 USD a year.

In terms of employment, over 61% of people aged 15 to 64 in Israel have a paid job, below the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 64% of men are in paid work, compared with 57% of women. People in Israel work 1 890 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1 776 hours. Almost 18% of employees work very long hours, much higher than the OECD average of 9%, with 27% of men working very long hours compared with 8% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Israel, 82% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, higher than the OECD average of 74%. There is little difference between men and women, as 81% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 83% of women. In terms of the quality of the education system, the average student scored 459 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 13 points, a larger difference than the average OECD gap of 9 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 24 micrograms per cubic meter, higher than the OECD average of 20 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 moderate 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, lower than the OECD average of 90%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 65% 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 71% and for the bottom 20% it is 63%, a slightly narrower gap than the OECD average gap of 12 percentage points.

In general, Israelis are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 70% 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 80%.

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OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Israel 2013

OECD's 2013 Economic Survey of Israel examines recent economic developments, prospects and policies with special chapters on health care and the tax and transfer system.

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Israel in Detail