Quality of Life in Israel

Quality of Life in Israel is unique to the Israeli experience. The factors contributing to improved wellbeing and life satisfaction are different than those in other countries.

Definition

'Quality of life in Israel' refers to the collection of areas that define an individual's well being. It is a byproduct of the different working, living, social and cultural environments a country provides for its citizens. Quality of Life is a complex concept affected by abstract factors and subjective perceptions.

The Reut Institute identifies the following areas as the pillars of Quality of Life in Israel: Economic Security, Social Wellbeing, Personal & Physical Security, as well as the 'Jewish added value.'1

The Context: The Top 15 Vision

Quality of Life in Israel is fundamental to the 'Top 15 Vision' - placing Israel among the 15 leading countries in terms of quality of life within fifteen years.2 The Reut Institute recognizes the importance of a thorough and intense public discourse regarding the various areas of Quality of Life in Israel. This debate is crucial to socio-economic policy design.

Areas

The Reut Institute identifies four major areas that affect Quality of Life in Israel:

  • Economic Security is a person's ability to financially support himself and his family. It is determined by his material wellbeing (income level) and human capital development, as well as the presence of environment supporting growth.3

  • Social Wellbeing is a person's desire and ability to identify with society and to be an active member of it. It is determined by the amount of trust in the government's ability to design, plan and execute policies, the scope of an individual's rights and liberties, and the sense of belongingness to one's community and nation.4

  • Personal & Physical Security refers to an individual's safety from harm to his life and property. It is determined by the health services, the quality of the environment, and the protection from criminal violence, war & terrorism that the state provides.5

  • The Jewish Added Value refers to the amount of satisfaction an Israeli Jew draws from being part of the fulfillment of the Zionist vision.

Measurement

Various international indices measure the quality of life of individuals in different countries. While the Economist Quality of Life Index and the UN Human Development Index are some of the more prominent ones, none of them provide a perfect measure of the Quality of Life in Israel. Consequently, defining an index or a set of indices suited for Israel is one of the challenges facing Israeli decision makers. 6

1 See Reut concepts: Economic Security, Social Wellbeing, and Personal & Physical Security.

2 See Reut concept: Top 15 Vision

3 See Reut concept: Economic Security

4 See Reut concept: Social Wellbeing

5 See Reut concept: Personal & Physical Security

6 The Reut Institute identifies seven international indices for measuring Quality of Life in Israel. See Reut paper: Measuring Quality of Life in Israel.