Only 42% of Jews Are Secular
Zeev Klein • Israel Hayom (p. 3)
Translation: Didi Remez • Coteret
Secular Jews are in the minority—this was found by the social poll for 2009 published yesterday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
According to the data, only 42% of the Jewish population in Israel define themselves as secular. Twelve percent define themselves as religious, 13% as traditional religious, 25% as traditional who are not very religious, and 8% define themselves as ultra-Orthodox.
Among young Jews aged 20-29, the percentage of ultra-Orthodox is higher, and stands at 14%, as opposed to only 2% who define themselves as ultra-Orthodox among elderly [Jews] aged 65 or above. Among Jewish families with five children or more, one fifth declared that they were religious or Haredi. Only 2.5% of large families declared that they were secular.
A majority of ultra-Orthodox men aged 25-45 belong to the workforce in Israel, and their percentage [of participation] reaches 52%. Conversely, among secular men, the percentage of workers stands at 93%. The situation is also similar among women: 88% of secular women belong to the workforce in Israel, as opposed to only 61% of ultra-Orthodox women.
In economic terms, the secular are more affluent than the religious. One third of them have a relatively high standard of living, and earn over NIS 4,000 per capita per month. Conversely, 78% of the religious and ultra-Orthodox make do with a low income of up to NIS 2,000 per capita per month.
But despite their economic situation, it would appear that faith and observance give the religious and ultra-Orthodox a happier life. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics data, 96% of ultra-Orthodox are pleased with their lives, as opposed to 87% among secular Jews. Among the religious too, the percentage of happiness is high: 91% of them said that they were happy with their lives, as opposed to 86% among those who define themselves as traditional.