A Portrait of Israelis in 2014, By the Numbers

Image: Alex Levac

Yediot Ahronot published a survey of Israeli Jewish adults on May 5, aimed at showing where the nation stood on its 66th birthday and where the younger generation was headed. Broken down by generation — over 50, 35 to 49 and under 35 — it shows a population that’s growing steadily more religious, more politically right-wing and more pessimistic about where the country is headed and their own generation’s economic prospects.

The telephone survey was conducted by pollster Rafi Smith April 24-28 in a representative sample of 500 Israeli Jewish adults. Margin of error 4.5%

For the sake of brevity, we’ll call the three generations O for over 50, M for middle (35-49) and Y for younger, aged 18 to 34. CA stands for combined national average.

Is Israel headed in the right direction?

Yes/No: O = 33/46, M = 29/54, Y = 24/63. CA = 29/54.

Are your generation’s economic prospects better or worse than your parent’s generation? Better/Worse: O = 65/27, M = 53/40, Y = 45/45.

How would you describe your political worldview? Right/Center/Left:

O = 47/25/28, M = 50/21/29, Y = 58/20/22. CA = 51/22/27.

How would you define yourself religiously? (Religious = Orthodox + Haredi)

Religious/Traditional/Secular: O = 15/31/54, M = 19/25/56, Y = 30/21/49.

Do you have a smartphone? If yes, do you use it to connect to the Internet?

Have, connect/Have, don’t connect/Don’t have:

O = 30/18/52, M = 68/6/26, Y = 69/6/25. CA = 54/10/36.

Do regularly read books? If so, do you read print, electronic or both?

Print/Elec/Both/Rarely: O = 58/3/7/32, M = 58/7/8/27, Y = 55/6/13/26.

Did you participate in political or social activism in the past year?

O = 12, M = 20, Y = 21. CA = 17.

(5% participated in demonstration, 3% signed petition, 3% met a politician, 2% belong to a party)

Do you agree/disagree with the idea that most of the Western world is against us? Agree: O = 47, M = 47, Y = 63. CA = 52.

Without connection to your current family situation, would you agree to your children living abroad? Yes: O = 40, M = 56, Y = 56. CA = 50. Men 54, Women 46.

In a televised discussion accompanying the article on Yediot’s Ynet website, pollster Smith said that the dramatic rise in the Orthodox proportion of the under-35 population is due to high birthrate in the Orthodox community. Also of note, he said that the openness to living abroad was significantly higher among secular than among Orthodox.

If you read Hebrew, you can see the survey in graphic form here. An abbreviated version appears in English here.

Written by

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).

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A Portrait of Israelis in 2014, By the Numbers

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