Israel ranks 25th of OECD’s 36 countries in quality of life 29May12 May 29, 2012

Haaretz  -  25 May 2012

Israel slipped five places in one year to 25th in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Better Life Index, which compares the quality of life among its 36 member states with the world’s strongest economies. Israel’s ratings went down in areas such as community life, the environment and education.

The index looks at 11 components, including the usual economic factors such as income and employment, but also people’s life satisfaction and sense of personal security. The aim is to create a more complete picture of living standards that might not be captured by the usual benchmark of gross domestic product.

On housing, Israel placed 28th among OECD countries, dropping one notch from the survey last year, when 34 countries were ranked. On income, Israel ranked higher but still dropped a notch to 16. In employment, its position improved, rising to 20th place from 22nd a year ago, according to the OECD figures.

But on measures of community, Israel plummeted to a rank of 30th from 18th a year earlier. It also dropped in the ranking to 29th from 23rd in education, and on the environment it sank to 33rd from 25th. Only Greece, Turkey and Chile scored worse than Israel for green credentials.

On government, which measures the level of confidence people have in state institutions, Israel was dead last for the second year in a row. But Israelis ranked close to the top on health, capturing fifth place on a rise of two notches from a year earlier, thanks to long life expectancies, according to the OECD. Only Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia and Canada outranked Israel.

Despite low rankings for a lot of lifestyle indicators, Israelis are among the most satisfied with their lives, the index showed. They placed eighth, up one place from last year. On personal security, however, Israel ranked 31st, a big drop from 22nd the year before. Only Russia, Estonia, Chile, Mexico and Brazil ranked lower.

Israelis also ranked low on balancing their work and leisure lives, taking the 31st spot. Koreans, Japanese, Turks and Mexicans scored lower.

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