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Sun-tanned Israelis relax on a beach near Tel Aviv..(Photo by: REUTERS)
Israelis are happier than most other nationalities about their country, economy, Pew poll finds
In contrast to Israel's 49% satisfaction rate, in the US only 33% of the public said they were satisfied with the direction the country was going.
Half of Israel’s population believes the country is going in the right direction, and 59 percent believe the economy is good, making Israelis among the least dissatisfied people in the world, according to Pew poll released on Tuesday.

According to the poll, part of the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, six years after the beginning of the Great Recession, “publics around the world remain glum. In most nations, people say their country is heading in the wrong direction and most voice the view that economic conditions are bad.”

The survey was taken among 48,643 respondents in 44 countries from March 17 to June 5. In Israel the survey was conducted in face-to face interview with 1,000 people, “Jews, Arabs and others,” with the data “weighted to reflect the actual distribution” within the population.

The survey in Israel was conducted from April 24 to May 11, after the breakdown of the negotiations with the Palestinians, but before Operation Protective Edge. It has a ±4.3% margin of error.

Asked whether they felt that they were satisfied with “the way things are going in your country today,” 49% of Israelis said they were satisfied, while 50% said they were dissatisfied.

But those numbers need to be put in a wider global context.

This ratio put Israel in the No. 2 slot – after Germany – among the 10 countries with advanced economies polled, the other countries being the United Kingdom, Japan, the US, South Korea, France, Italy, Spain and Greece.

In contrast to Israel, in the US only 33% of the public said they were satisfied with the direction the country was going, while 62% said they were not. Greece bottomed out the list, with only 5% satisfied.

Among all 44 countries, which included 25 emerging countries such as China, Turkey, Russia, Brazil and Argentina, and 9 developing ones – including the Bangladesh, Uganda and the “Palestinian territories” – Israel was in eighth place regarding satisfaction. Only 15% of those in the Palestinian territories said they were satisfied, while 82% said they were dissatisfied.

The poll said that “most national publics around the world – a global median of 69% – are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country.”

By comparison with this global median, the findings showed that Israel is doing well.

Regarding the economic situation, 59% of Israelis polled said that the current position in the country is “good,” as opposed to 41% who say it is “bad.”

Again this placed Israel in second place after Germany, where 85% said the German economy was good. In the US, 40% said it was good, and 58% said it was bad, while in France only 12% said it was good.

Among all 44 countries, Israel was ranked 11th regarding the economy, with China leading the list, as 89% said the Chinese economy was good. In the Palestinian territories, 23% said “good” regarding the economy, and 77% “bad.”
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