Israel Falls in Quality of Life Rankings
OECD ranks the Holy Land 25th out of 36 countries
Israel fell five spots in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 2012 Better Life Index, finishing in the 25th spot out of a total of 36 countries.
The annual report ranked the OECD’s 34 members plus Russia and Brazil, based on 11 categories that relate to material living conditions and quality of life.
The index, which compares OECD member states to the world’s strongest economies, aims to create a more complete picture of living standards in various countries using benchmarks not necessarily measured using gross domestic product, according to Haaretz. The 11 categories include housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, life satisfaction, safety and work/life balance.
Israel’s score was below average for most of the 11 categories, causing it to drop five spots in just one year.
For the second consecutive year, Israel finished dead last in civic engagement, indicating a lack of confidence shared by citizens in the state’s government.
Despite the 80 per cent of adults aged 25-64 that have attained a high school degree, which is above the OECD average, Israel finished just 28th in education, according to Ynet. The report indicated that Israeli students scored an average 459 points in reading literacy, math and science in OECD assessments, below the global average of 497.
Israel also finished 28th in housing due to a lack of affordability, as highlighted by last year’s social justice protests. The OECD report pointed out that the average Israeli home contains 1.2 rooms per person, less than the OECD average of 1.6, which indicates that Israel suffers from a problem of overcrowded housing.
In employment, Israel improved two spots to 20th this year and ranked 16th in income. In measurements of the community, Israel fell to 30th from 18th and to 33rd from 25th in environment rankings, according to Haaretz.
Despite the poor performances in these areas, Israelis were found to be more satisfied with their lives than the average citizen of other OECD countries, as Israeli men self-graded their lives a 7.4 out of 10, while the women gave a grade of 7.3. Both figures are above the OECD average of 6.7, causing Israel to finish eighth in this category.
Israel also ranked high in average life expectancy, with a score of 82 years, two years above the OECD average of 80.
Australia, Norway and the United States topped the overall index, while Turkey finished last behind Mexico and Chile.