The Taub Institute's State of the Nation Report of 2019 shows that the situation in the State of Israel is certainly relatively good, but various data indicate that there is a fear of economic and social deterioration and that it is very difficult to break out of poverty.
The report shows that the levels of poverty and inequality have declined in recent years and that social investment has increased, but that it is much more difficult to exit the cycle of poverty in Israel than in OECD countries. To get out of poverty, a couple with two children has to work about 70 hours a week (each), compared to less than 60 hours in the US or only 35 hours in France.
The report also presents data indicating the danger of economic collapse of households from the lower deciles as a result of taking loans beyond their capabilities. Although the proportion of households in the lower deciles who receive a relatively low debt stands at only 18%, compared to 56% among the highest deciles, among households in the lowest decile in debt, a difficult picture emerges: the average ratio of debt to annual income is 8 times. Unreasonably exceeds their annual income, and it is doubtful whether they will be able to repay, "wrote Brown
In education, which is actually the real locomotive of countries in the world, there is an improvement, but it is not enough. The achievements of students in Israel are improving, but not enough. Due to the growing birth rate, the student population in Israel has grown by 44% since 2000, and the number of children in kindergartens has soared by more than 80% in the last 18 years. The average expenditure per pupil in Israel is lower than in the OECD countries, but as a result of new wage agreements with teachers and the addition of activities during vacations, it is growing, and at least in the case of primary school students, it is approaching the norm in developed countries.
Over the years, the achievements of students in Israel lagged behind the average in the developed countries, but in recent years the gaps have been decreasing, and the rate of improvement of the grades is increasing. The greatest improvement occurred in the eighth grade sciences. Still, the grades of Israeli students were almost always lower than the average of the countries that took the test in 2001 and 2015. In view of the high rate of growth in the number of students and the gaps that still exist compared with the developed countries, investment in education must continue to grow in the coming years.
Israel is considered a developed economy, but in terms of birthrate, the data are rather exceptional compared with the Western world: the average number of children per family in Israel is 3.1, the highest in the OECD. The last time the family had a fertility rate of 3.1 children in Europe was 1914 in Germany and 1889 in France. The birth rate in the ultra-Orthodox and Arab sectors is high, but the birthrate of the secular sector has also risen consistently over the last 20 years.
In countries with a standard of living similar to Israel, the standard birthrate is 1.24-2.02 children per family. The Taub Institute's data also indicate that the level of education of non-ultra-Orthodox Jewish women has no relation to the birthrate, ie the desire to expand the family to 2-3 children is the same among women with academic and secondary education. This is in contrast to the Arab sector, where among the academics the birth rate is lower.
Despite the concern about the state of the health system in Israel, the Taub Institute stresses that it is in good condition: "Life expectancy is high and infant mortality is low, but there is concern that the situation will change as a result of the aging population and the expansion of medical needs." "The rapid aging of the population coupled with the increase in doctors' salaries will require an increase in the share of health expenditure so that the situation will not deteriorate," the institute notes.
In Israel there are fewer hospital beds compared to the size of the population compared with OECD countries: three beds per 1,000 people compared to 4.8. As a result, bed occupancy in Israeli hospitals is 94% as of 2016, compared to 74% in the developed countries. The length of hospitalization in Israel is relatively short and stands at 5.2 days on average, compared with 6.7 days in developed countries.
The high-tech sector in Israel is called the locomotive of economic growth. For this reason, workers in the industry are only 8% of all workers in the economy, but they pay about 25% of Israel's income tax. High-tech workers earn an average of double the number of workers in other industries, but "the employment rate has remained almost unchanged for more than a decade, and there are indications that it is difficult to fill certain jobs, But it is very difficult to realize this goal in the short term. "
The institute notes that one of the main reasons why the rate of high-tech employees remains frozen is the difficulty in converting. This is because high-skilled workers usually work at relatively high wages anyway, so they are not motivated to convert to high-tech. Another reason for the relatively low level of employment in high-tech is that the control of the English language, an important condition for employment in the industry, is relatively low among Arabs and Haredim, which makes it difficult to integrate them. "English studies in the educational institutions of these groups are a necessary condition for the accessibility of high-tech for them," it says.
"A high occupancy rate combined with a few days of hospitalization may lead to an inability to function in stressful situations," he says. The report also compares the state of medicine in the center to the periphery: "The number of beds per capita in the southern and northern periphery is the lowest in Israel and the highest in Jerusalem The highest average distance between hospitals and hospitals is in the northern district, .