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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Israel in the Indices

Amnon Rubinstein reports on Human Development according to the UN

  • Israel is in eighth place in the general longevity index.
  • In the index that measures the chance, at birth, of reaching age 60, Israel is in second place, immediately after Sweden and ahead of Holland, Belgium, Finland, Norway and even Japan, the land of long life.
  • Regarding the chances of reaching 65, at birth, Israel is in first place for women and ninth for men.
  • Other health figures are astonishing. In the category of the prevalence of HIV in the population group aged 15-49 for 2003, Israel shares the lowest rate in the world together with Finland, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Britain.
  • Israel can boast a particularly impressive achievement in the area of infant mortality. We have gone from an infant mortality rate of 24 for every 1,000 live births in 1970 to only six in 2002 – lower than the level in the United States.
  • The report also measures educational achievement – not the scores attained in international competitions, but in school enrollment rates. Here too, Israel is among the top 10 for enrollment rate in elementary schools. For high school, it received a lower ranking, apparently due to a lower enrollment rate in the Arab sector, but still higher than Switzerland, Germany, Australia and the US.
It is notable that all these figures apply to Israel's entire population – Jews and Arabs, secular and haredi. This achievement is all the greater when we recall that Israel has absorbed tens of thousands of penniless immigrants in recent years and that the Jewish state is being compared to countries with homogeneous populations such as Japan and Scandinavia.

There's some bad news, too, and it has to do with Israel's economic conditions:

"Israelis are healthier and get a better education than the citizens of many wealthier nations, but they produce less and, consequently, are poorer."

All in all, pretty good for a country in the middle of a war.

Just today, another suicide bombing was thwarted - at the Hawara roadblock near Nablus.

Kol hakavod to the Haruv batallion.

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