The 2019 elections: a guide to key socioeconomic issues


As we near the upcoming Israeli elections, the Taub Center is here to make sure you’re informed about Israel’s most pressing socioeconomic issues.

This election season, #ChooseToKnow.


Scroll to read about some of the most pressing issues and important trends taking place in the following areas of Israel’s economy and society. Happy scrolling!

Cost of Living | Demographics | Economic Growth | Employment | Education | Health | Welfare


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The relatively low level of public funding and the rising share of private funding increases health costs and widens gaps in the accessibility of medical services in Israel.
(Brief, 2 min)


Cost of Living
Why are salaries in Israel so low and prices so high? Did the social protests that took place in Israel in 2011 succeed in driving prices down? Learn about developments in the cost of living in Israel in recent years, including trends in food and housing prices and the level of household debt.

Various Israeli shekel notes background image including 200,100 and 50 shekel notes

Did the social protests of 2011 succeed? (Video, 1 min)

Housing prices are rising, but maybe not as much as it seems at first glance (Brief, 3 min)

The level of household debt in Israel is on the rise, and may leave the lowest-income Israelis particularly vulnerable (Brief, 3 min)


The age structure of Israel’s population is changing as Israel has the highest birth rate of any developed country, on the one hand, and the number of elderly in Israel is expected to double by 2035, on the other. At the same time, the share of Israel’s various population groups out of the total population is shifting as well. Read about the implications of these demographic trends on various areas of policy in Israel.

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What’s behind Israel’s extremely high birth rate? (Blog, 2 min)

Is Israel prepared for an aging population? Lessons from Singapore (Blog, 3 min)

Are Israeli Jews becoming more secular? (Blog, 2 min)

Economic Growth
Employment in Israel is at an all-time high, unemployment is at a historic low, GDP growth is similar to recent years, and wages have risen. However, the country’s growth potential is declining due to demographic changes and trends in labor productivity, which is not growing at all. Is there more room to grow Israel’s most successful industry – high tech – and/or to spur economic growth through further expanding labor market participation?

TEL AVIV/ISRAEL - 5 AUGUST 2014: city Tel Aviv streets and buildings from a height. 5 august 2014 Tel Aviv.

Economic developments in Israel: the deficit, growth and productivity, prices and the cost of living (Brief, 3 min)

Should Israel continue to invest in short-term high tech growth? (Op-ed, 3 min)

Economic growth and workforce diversity go hand in hand (Blog, 4 min)

To understand what’s going on in Israel’s labor market, it is important to examine trends by sector and gender. Differences in the occupations in which men and women work, full- and part-time positions, and other labor market characteristics affect the gender gap in both the present and the future (through the pension system). Furthermore, there are significant differences between the labor market characteristics of Israel’s various population groups – seen in employment rates, industry of employment, and even commuting patterns.

ballpen-blur-close-up-461077Envisioning the future of Israel’s labor market (Video, 4 min)

The major trends in Israel’s labor market (Brief, 3 min)

What really lies behind the gender wage gap in Israel? (Video, 2 min)

What’s behind Israel’s pension gender gap? (Blog, 3 min)

Going the distance: commuting patterns in Israel (Blog, 3 min)

From the earliest years of childhood through high school and academia, trends in the education system shape the next generation of Israelis. Where does the education system stand in terms of the central goals it has set for itself? What inequalities exist in education and at what inflection points can these disparities be addressed and, potentially, narrowed?

Kids in classroom studying photographed from behind

The building blocks of equal opportunity: early childhood education (Blog, 3 min)

The real test: how does Israel score on four goals for improving its education system? (Blog, 3 min)

It all stems from STEM: girls studying science and technology subjects (Blog, 2 min)

In many ways, Israel’s current health indicators are quite good, but they reflect past investments in the healthcare system. Today, the system faces challenges including the level of state funding, the mix between the system’s private and public spheres, an aging population, and health disparities across population groups.

backbone-blur-check-721166Challenges facing the Israeli healthcare system (Brief, 4 min)

The health of the Arab Israeli population (Brief, 3 min)

Preparing for the future: long-term care in Israel (Blog, 3 min)

What do you know about health in Israel? (Quiz, 5 min)

In Israel’s social welfare system there is evidence of long-term stability in social spending levels and of the limited effectiveness of measures to address poverty and inequality. In addition, there are notable differences in welfare funding across localities and in the funding of nonprofit organizations addressing welfare issues in Israel.


Major trends in Israel’s social welfare system (Brief, 4 min)

The places that need welfare funding the most are getting the least (Blog, 3 min)

Mapped out: welfare nonprofits in Israel (Blog, 3 min)

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