Survey says 86% of Israelis are Satisfied with their Lives

March 13, 2014  

Israelis complain about the difficulties they face and about the high cost of living, but an overwhelming majority are content with their lives, according to a Central Bureau of Statistics report released on Wednesday.

Some 86 percent of Israelis are satisfied with their lives, including 33% who say they are “very satisfied,” the bureau found in its survey for 2012-2013.

Of those aged 45 to 65, 57% said they were satisfied with their lives, including 29% who said they were “very satisfied.” Among those aged 20 to 44, 49% were satisfied, including 40% who were “very satisfied.” Among Israelis above 65, 60% said they were satisfied with their lives, including 19% who said they were “very satisfied.” Men and women gave similar responses, although those who were married were more satisfied than those who were single. Those who were over 65 tended to be more satisfied than other demographics.

According to the survey, some 54% of those who were single said they were “very satisfied” with their lives.

When broken down to according to religiosity, ultra-Orthodox Jews appear to be most satisfied. Some 66% of those who consider themselves ultra-Orthodox said they were “very satisfied” with their lives, compared with 41% of those who call themselves “non-haredi Orthodox” and 31% of those who called themselves “observant.” Only 30% of secular Jews said they were “very satisfied.”

Some 87% of all respondents said they were “very satisfied” with their place of residence, but only 59% said they were happy with their neighbors.

Families with children were the happiest, according to the survey. Among families with one to three children, 92% said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied,” compared with 86% in childless families. Single-parent households reported a lower satisfaction rate, although it was still relatively high — 78%. Among Jewish immigrants who made aliyah during the 1990s, less than 80% said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied.”

The survey also shows that Israelis’ satisfaction is a function of their income level, their family status and their employment. The more income generated by the primary breadwinner of the family, the greater the satisfaction. Some 87% of those who earned above 14,000 shekels ($4,030) a month were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their income level, compared to only 51% among those who made between NIS 5,000 ($1,400) and NIS 7,500 ($2,159) a month and 40% among those who made up to NIS 3,000 ($863) a month.

But high income does not automatically translate into more satisfaction. Among those who said they subscribed to a socialist worldview, only 41% said they were satisfied with their economic status, compared with those who said they were capitalist. Overall, some 56% of those 20 and up were satisfied with their economic status.

Some 87% said they were happy with their jobs and 77% said they planned to be part of the workforce even after they reached the age of retirement. Some 40% said they expect their economic status to improve, while 33% said they did not believe they could move up the economic ladder. Some 17% said they were concerned that they might experience economic adversity.

Some 40% of Israeli Jews said they would like to have three children, while 12% preferred to have two and 17% planned to have four. Only 1% said they preferred to have just one child.

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