birthplace-rankingIn a report that might surprise many Americans who have never been to Israel, The Economist reports that their research indicates that Israel is the 20th best place to be born in 2013, only four spots behind the USA and Germany who tied for 16th.

This clip from the article provides some explanation of the factors that were considered in this study: “Its quality-of-life index links the results of subjective life-satisfaction surveys—how happy people say they are—to objective determinants of the quality of life across countries. Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too. In all, the index takes 11 statistically significant indicators into account. They are a mixed bunch: some are fixed factors, such as geography; others change only very slowly over time (demography, many social and cultural characteristics); and some factors depend on policies and the state of the world economy.”

Another thing that surprises many tourists is “how modern” life is in Israel. Many expect to see people still dressed like the actors in all the Christmas plays they have seen. There remain some traditional aspects to life in Israel, but don’t be surprised to see a modern, technologically advanced nation when you visit.