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You don't need money to be happy but it certainly helps - at least according to results of a recent study of adult Israelis conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Eighty-two percent of those surveyed claimed to be "very satisfied" with life in Israel." But the level of satisfaction with economic conditions was considerably lower - with only 47% of adults saying that they were satisfied with their economic situation.
However, in households where the monthly income was over NIS 3,000 per person, 70% were satisfied with their economic situation.
While 41% of all households believed that their economic situation would improve over the next few years, 32% believed that it wouldn't change, and 16% expected their economic situation to worsen.
The percentage of Israelis over age 75 who were satisfied with their economic situation (63%) was higher than among the following age groups: 65-74 (53%); 25-64 (44%); and 20-24 (55%.) In households where the monthly income was over NIS 3000 per person, 70% were satisfied with their economic situation, and of those households, 42% expected their situation to improve in the next few years.
Of those surveyed, 52% believed that their lives would improve over the next few years.
Slightly less optimistic were the 27% who believed that their lives would not improve, and the 11% who believed that their lives would become worse.
Among Israelis aged 20-24, an overwhelming 89% responded that they were satisfied with their lives. The rate of satisfaction sank slightly as the age of respondents rose: 79% of Israelis aged 45-64 and 72% of Israelis aged 75 and over were satisfied.
The rate of satisfaction among single and married people was higher than that among the divorced (63%) and widowed (66%.) Educated Israelis were more satisfied with their lives, according to the survey. A total of 86% of university graduates, 82% of post-secondary graduates, and 88% of high school graduates replied that they were happy with their lives, as opposed to 75% among Israelis who did not matriculate.
The survey found that over three quarters - 75% - of adult Israelis said that their health was good. A total of 35% reported health problems or other physical problems, 70% of whom said that these problems made their lives difficult.
Sadly, 13% of adult Israelis say they have no friends. However, 94% of those who have friends are satisfied with their friendships. Some 32% of the population reported feeling lonely occasionally or frequently. According to the CBA findings, women were lonelier than men (39% as opposed to 25%) and the divorced and widowed (51%, 64%) more than married and single people (26%, 35%.) Israelis who made aliya in their youth and new immigrants were lonely more often than sabras.
Eight-one percent of Israelis were satisfied with their homes, while the same percentage were happy with their neighbors and 80% satisfied with their neighborhoods.
Eight percent of Jewish Israelis over 20 define themselves as haredi, 9% as "religious," 12% as "traditional-religious," and 45% as "non-religious, secular."
Among non-Jews in Israel, 50% over aged 20 define themselves as "very religious" and "religious," 21% as "not very religious," and 22% as "non-religious."
The survey was conducted among 7600 adults over age 20 who represented some four million Israeli citizens, including new immigrants who have been in Israel for at least six months.