A recent survey by the Geocartography Institute has found that given a choice, 48 percent of Israelis would prefer to live somewhere else. According to the report, released Monday, the sentiment was especially strong among participants ages 18-34. Some 52% of those polled said that given a choice they would remain in Israel.
The poll’s findings come on the backdrop of a public debate over Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s berating of young Israelis seeking a better life in Berlin, and findings by the Taub Center of an increasing brain drain from Israel.
Those who said they would like to live somewhere else ranked the U.S. as their top alternative, followed by Canada, Switzerland and Australia. Nine percent of those asked where they would the like to live said, “Anywhere but Israel.”
The poll, conducted by Professor Avi Dgani, was first held in 2007 and yielded very similar results: At the time 53% of those polled said that given a choice they would like to live in Israel and 47% opted for other countries.
The survey, which included 500 participants ages 18 and over, was based on Geocartography’s Mosaic Israel international population classification model, which reviews demographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors.
Twenty-seven percent of the survey’s participants noted that the faltering sense of security, peace and quiet were the main reasons why they wanted to live in another country; 19% expressed their yearning for a different cultural mentality and 18% expressed a desire to have a better quality of life. The poll found that the religious-Zionist community expressed the highest level of loyalty to and affiliation with the state (85%), followed by the ultra-Orthodox sector with 81%. Only 42% of secular Israelis exhibited the same.
Among the new immigrants polled, only 36% expressed affiliation with the state, compared to 57% of second-generation Israelis.
The survey further found that only 45% of participants ages 18-34 would like to remain in Israel, compared to 58% among participants 55 years old and older.
All good and well. But a recent survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics shows that the number of Israelis who actually left the country in 2011 had not returned by the end of 2012 stands at 16,000 – one the lowest figures over the past three decades and among the lowest rates in the developed world.
According to Haaretz: In recent years, Israel’s rate of emigration has been two people per 1,000 residents, which is considered a particularly low rate compared to the world’s other developed economies, members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD. As recently as 2006, the emigration rate from Israel was 3.2 per 1,000.
So why do we stay?
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