Survey: 86% of Israelis satisfied with life

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their financial situation despite the soaring cost of living, particularly in housing and food.

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March 12, 2014 22:17
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A large majority of Israelis, 86 percent, are satisfied with life, according to the 2012 Social Survey, released Wednesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. One-third said they are “very satisfied.”

The survey, which focused mostly on financial satisfaction, produced unusual and interesting findings among the respondents, aged 20 and over.

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Among Jews, religion seemed to bring happiness. Sixty-six percent of haredim (ultra-Orthodox) said they were “very satisfied” with life, compared with 41% of religious Jews, 31% of the traditional Jews and 30% of secular Jews. Religion has often been linked to increased reported happiness, and scholars such as Harvard’s Robert Putnam posit that it is a result of the strong emphasis on community and built-in social ties.

Israelis with a socialist socioeconomic leaning, for example, were almost twice as satisfied with their finances as those with a capitalist leaning (41% versus 24%).

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they were satisfied with their financial situation, a noteworthy finding, given the soaring cost of living, particularly in housing and food. Another 40% said they thought their financial situation would improve in years to come.

Not surprisingly, high earners were more satisfied with their monetary situation. Of those earning over NIS 14,000 a month, 87% were satisfied, while 40% of those earning under NIS 3,000 – below the minimum wage – were also satisfied. However, that may reflect people who work part-time because their spouse or partner earns a higher amount.

Among the employed, there were no significant differences between men and women in the overall level of financial satisfaction.

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