Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Loneliness, religion and the Central Bureau of Statistics

Thirty percent of Israelis say they feel lonely sometimes. This includes 59 percent of widowed Israelis, 49 percent of divorced Israelis, 38 percent of Arab Israelis, and 29 percent of Jewish Israelis.

Sixty-nine percent of Israelis who don't live with their families see their families at least once a week.

Thirteen percent of Israelis say they have no friends, and 11 percent don't have anyone on whom they can depend in a crisis.

These are among highlights of a survey which Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics released June 12.

A couple of months ago this weblog cited a polling firm's survey which found that 50 percent of Israeli Jews define themselves as secular, 30 percent as traditional and 20 percent as religious or haredi.

The newly released government survey shows that 69 percent of the Jews in Israel identify themselves as nonreligious vs. 31 percent religious. The survey refines the definitions by breaking the "traditional" category into religious and nonreligious. Here are some highlights.

How Jews in Israel identify themselves religiously
haredi (ultra-orthodox), 7 percent
religious, 10 percent
traditional, religious, 14 percent
[total Jews identifying themselves as religious, 31 percent]

traditional, non-religious, 25 percent
secular, 44 percent.
[total Jews identifying themselves as non-religious, 69 percent].

How Arabs in Israel identify themselves religiously
very religious, 6 percent
religious, 44 percent
not so religious, 25 percent
nonreligious, 25 percent.

Satisfaction with life

(percent satisfied or very satisfied)
haredi Jews, 97 percent
religious Jews, 86 percent
secular Jews, 85 percent
all Jews, 85 percent
traditional Jews, 83 percent

very religious Arabs, 83 percent
religious Arabs, 79 percent
all Arabs, 78 percent
nonreligious Arabs, 74 percent

all Israelis, 83 percent satisfied or very satisfied with life.

Army service
religious Jewish men, 87 percent
traditional Jewish men, 85 percent
secular Jewish men, 80 percent
all Jewish men, 76 percent
haredi Jewish men, 32 percent

secular Jewish women, 59 percent
all Jewish women, 40 percent
traditional Jewish women, 38 percent
religious Jewish women, 17 percent
haredi Jewish women, 7 percent.

National service in lieu of army
religious Jewish women, 36 percent
haredi Jewish women, 10 percent
traditional Jewish women, 8 percent
all Jewish women, 7 percent
secular Jewish women, 3 percent.

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics. The bureau surveyed 7,300 people representing 4.4 million Israelis aged 20 and above. The study is known as the 2006 Social Survey. The bureau did not announce a margin of error.

-- Joseph M. Hochstein, Tel Aviv

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