Photo Credit: Nati Shohat / Flash 90
Israelis enjoy a sunny afternoon at Tel Aviv port

Israel’s population is the eleventh happiest on the list of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Better Life Index (OECD).

When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life, on a scale from 0 to 10, on an average Israelis scored life at 7.2 — higher than the OECD average of 6.5 .

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In Israel, the population ranks its life above average in the areas of income and wealth, employment and earnings, personal security, and health status and well being.

Approximately 69 percent of Israelis age 15 to 64 have a paid job — a figure higher than the OECD average of 67 percent.

Life expectancy at birth in Israel is 82 years — two years longer than the OECD average, just 80 years. In Israel, the life expectancy for women (84 years) is longer than that for men (80 years).

In the education sphere, 87 percent of Israelis aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, higher than the OECD average of 74 percent. This is truer of women than men, as just 86 percent of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 88 percent of women.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Israel, where 87 percent of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, broadly in line with the OECD average of 89 percent.

Voter turnout, a measure of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 72 percent during recent elections, higher than with the OECD average of 69 percent.

The survey responses were not all sunshine and roses, however: Israelis said they were not as happy as those in the rest of the OECD in the areas of education and skills, housing, environmental quality, work-life balance, social connections and civil engagement — even though for the most part, the figures reflect a relatively high quality of life.

Is the Jewish State a better place to live? For many, the answer is “yes” although the reasons for that answer vary. Israel’s strong economy is certainly one factor. But there are others.

At least 40 percent of the Jewish population in the United Kingdom is seriously mulling that question right now, given the rising rates of anti-Semitism in that country, and across the European continent. Jews in France have been thinking it over already for some time, and the number of Jews immigrating from Ukraine has risen exponentially over the past year.

Aryeh Savir and TPS contributed content to this report.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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