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Cost of living in Israel

August 8, 2023 1814 Time to read: 13 min.

Why do so many people want to obtain an Israeli passport so badly? Excellent climate, year-round sun, high level of ecology and  of course comfortable life. Israel is a rich and beautiful country, where hundreds of thousands of tourists come every year, and tens of thousands of people move to live forever. However, many are deterred from moving by the cost of living in the state. But are prices in Israel as high as they say?


Before talking about expenses, you should touch on the topic of income. In isolation from the earnings of the inhabitants of Israel, the price level may seem really high, but it is worth looking at the salaries – and everything immediately falls into place.

taxes world

The average salary in Israel in 2023 is 9 thousand shekels (about $ 2,500). However, the living wage established by law is much lower: 1,8 thousand shekels ($ 500) per person and 3,7 thousand shekels ($ 1,000) for a family with one child.

Of course, part of the salary will have to be paid in the form of taxes, but for three years there are special conditions for repatriates that exempt them from most of the income tax.

It is important to note that in Israel they value the work of teachers and medical workers. Their salaries are slightly lower than the national average, but still worthy – about 7.5-8 thousand shekels ($ 2,200) per month.

comparison of taxes in leading countries

Not so long ago, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics conducted an interesting study. The purpose of this study was to identify the size of the average salary of an average Israeli. All economic spheres were studied. The results of the study pleased many. It turned out that compared to last year and the year before last, the situation has changed for the better.

In general, Israel is considered an economically favorable zone. The economy in this country is quite strong.The level of salary directly depends on qualifications and experience. For example, a nurse gets $ 1,500 and a nurse gets $ 3,450. A general practitioner is paid $ 4,700 and an operating surgeon $ 6,500.

In some areas, the salary is strongly influenced by knowledge of English and Hebrew. A driver without knowledge of the language earns $ 2,900. And a taxi driver who understands passengers well gets up to $ 5,000. Let’s compare earnings in different countries for one of the most popular profession – teacher:

The average salary in the Israeli education system is $ 2,500. The school teacher receives $ 2,650 and the principal receives $ 5,000. In the system of higher education, wages are 15-20% higher, the teacher of the university receives 4,350 dollars, and the rector – 8,000 dollars. In preschools, a teacher earns $ 1,800 and a kindergarten teacher $ 4,500.

Food price comparison

There is a strong influence of religion on the territory of the country. It tells the Jews exactly how vegetables and fruits should be grown, how they should be prepared. Kosher food is the key to a healthy nation, and it is not for nothing that the country has the highest life expectancy, an average of 82.5 years.

The most basic products have a fixed cost, as they are regulated by the state. The list can be viewed on the website of the Ministry of Economy and Industry.

All other products have a market price, which is subject to change. If you buy in the market, you can save a lot, as prices in stores are much higher. It is also better to cook by yourself, because in restaurants and street establishments the cost of breakfast or takeaway food is high.

Let’s compare prices on food in supermarkets from different countries:

Markets Tel Aviv New York, NY Paris London
Milk (1 liter) $ 1,78 $ 1,38 $ 1,36 $ 1,67
White Bread (500 g) $ 2,63 $ 4,45 $ 2,09 $ 1,76
Rice (1 kg) $ 2,88 $ 7,89 $ 2,44 $ 2,71
Eggs (regular pack) $ 3,89 $ 5,60 $ 3,99 $ 4,14
Cheese (1 kg) $ 14,81 $ 17,94 $ 19,55 $ 9,29
Chicken fillets (1 kg) $ 11,30 $ 16,06 $ 15,14 $ 9,46
Beef round (1 kg) $ 18,69 $ 20,68 $ 25,11 $ 14,15
Apples (1 kg) $ 3,55 $ 6,20 $ 3,77 $ 2,61
Banana (1 kg) $ 2,41 $ 2,18 $ 2,48 $ 1,56
Oranges (1 kg) $ 1,83 $ 5,38 $ 3,44 $ 2,65
Tomato (1 kg) $ 2,18 $ 6,34 $ 4,35 $ 3,74
Potato (1 kg) $ 1,44 $ 4,04 $ 2,57 $ 1,45
Onion (1kg) $ 1,45 $ 3,86 $ 2,60 $ 1,50
Lettuce (1 head) $ 1,96 $ 2,87 $ 1,73 $ 1,08
Water (1,5 liter) $ 1,49 $ 2,51 $ 0,95 $ 1,47
Coffee (cappuccino regular) $ 3,86 $ 5,41 $ 4,11 $ 4,46

For comparison we took the central cities of different countries. You may notice that the prices of food in Israel are adjusted to the prices in England, while they are cheaper than the cost of food in America.

Some positions in Israel are cheaper. For example, if we compare the prices of a cup of coffee from a coffee shop, we will see that Israel has the cheapest price, while New York coffee costs more than $5.

It is worth noting the high quality of Israeli products. The inhabitants of the country are obsessed with a healthy lifestyle and monitor the quality of food consumed, so you will find only the freshest and most healthy products in local stores.

Israel housing prices

Buying apartment. Housing in Israel is constantly growing in price: over the past 10 years, real estate has risen in price by 100 – 300% depending on the city and region, although the average salary has increased by only 20%. For example, in some central parts of Tel Aviv, the standard offer is $ 23,000-25,000 per “square”. Of course, there are more affordable options.

The cheapest three-room apartment in Tel Aviv in the southern part of the city costs about $ 340,000. A one-room apartment can be found for $ 180,000-200,000. In the vicinity of the capital, prices are about 20% lower. On the periphery, it is quite possible to buy a three-room apartment for $ 140,000.

But in Israel – low mortgage rates: about 2-4% per annum for up to 30 years with a down payment of 40-50%.

As housing prices rise, so does rent. The most expensive cities to live in are Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Depending on the area of the city, monthly rates vary between $ 700-1,200 and $ 1,000-1,500, respectively. It will be cheaper to rent an apartment in Netanya and Ashdod – about $ 650-750. The lowest rates are in Haifa, Nazareth, Beer Sheva: about $ 450-650 for a one-room apartment or studio.

Be aware that local landlords are very curious. They always take a detailed interest in potential tenants, wanting the property to fit and you have not moved out in six months due to poor transport accessibility, unsatisfactory conditions for children, or for any other reason.

Also, the owners are interested in your solvency, so do not be surprised if you are asked to provide a salary certificate for the last three months.

Keep in mind that you will have to pay not only rent, but also a number of other expenses:

Arnona – municipal tax, which can reach $ 50-100 per month (depending on the city, district, area of premises). Specify the amount immediately with the owner. New immigrants in the first year of their stay in Israel pay only 10% of this tax, if the area of ​​the apartment is not more than 100 sq.m.

Vaad-bayt (house manager) – payment for the care of the common area of the house (lawns, lighting, etc.). It ranges from $ 15 to $ 60 per month, depending on the size of the service area and infrastructure.

Communal payments. You will also have to pay for electricity, water, gas on your own. Please note that there is no central heating in Israel – water is heated in boilers installed on the roof of the house. There are two types of boilers: solar and electric. If you plan to rent a house, try to find the first option – then you will have to use electric heating very rarely, because in Israel the sun is almost all year round. If you don’t have a solar boiler, get ready to pay $ 25-30 more each month.

In general, utility bills are made up of the following items:

  • Electricity $ 50-70;
  • Water $ 30-50;

  • Gas $ 20-40;
  • Internet $ 25-30.

If you rent a modest one-room apartment, then, after adding council tax and payment.

house manager, you will have to pay at least $ 190-200 for utilities per month. Although, depending on the type of complex, housing area, city and your personal expenses, this figure can reach up to $ 350.

Rent per month Tel Aviv-Yafo New York, NY Paris London
Apartment (1 bedroom) in city center $ 1,733 $ 3,725 $ 1,380 $ 2,740
Apartment (1 bedroom) outside of center $ 1,257 $ 2,529 $ 1,061 $ 1,913
Apartment (3 bedroom) in city center $ 2,964 $ 7,704 $ 3,203 $ 5,018
Apartment (3 bedroom) outside of center $ 2,094 $ 4,451 $ 2,221 $ 3,268
Buy apartment price Tel Aviv-Yafo New York, NY Paris London
Price per sq meter in city center $ 16,305 $ 15,686 $ 14,080 $ 17,573
Price per sq meter outside of center $ 10,863 $ 10,007 $ 9,896 $ 10,088

Here is a comparative table of prices for buying and renting real estate in different countries:

Among the countries shown in the table, housing in Israel occupies an average price category. If you like a warm comfortable climate all year round, proximity to the sea and excellent ecology – feel free to look at housing in Israel.

Transport price comparison

Some parts of Israel can only be traveled on foot. This includes the center of Tel Aviv and the Old City in Jerusalem. In all other cases, you will have to resort to the services of transport.

Public transport. The most popular option is buses. Two large companies operate in Israel: Egged (flights both between cities and within cities) and Dan (transportation in Tel Aviv and the surrounding area). Fares vary by city and area. For example, a ticket for a trip inside Tel Aviv or Jerusalem starts at $ 1,5. The price of a ticket varies in the same way. For example, the cheapest monthly pass for Tel Aviv and a number of suburbs will cost $ 60, for a week – $ 18. Students are provided with good discounts: a similar travel pass for a semester will cost $ 165,5 for them, and $ 361 for a year.

Another type of public transport is a fixed-route taxi, which, unlike buses, also runs on Shabbat. The cost is slightly higher than in the bus. Inside the city – from $ 1.7 – 2, to Netanya from the capital – $ 4-5.6 (higher price – on Shabbat), to Haifa – $ 15.

Taxi. A convenient way to travel short distances, as well as on special holidays when public transport does not run (for example, on Shabbat). The average cost of a taxi ride in Tel Aviv is $ 7-10. When boarding, be sure to ask to turn on the meter, as local taxi drivers will not miss the opportunity to “slightly” overcharge for a non-local.

Bicycles. In large cities, for example, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, many move in this way. Bicycles are municipal, and parking lots are “scattered” throughout the city: you can take one and return it to another. To rent such transport, you need a credit card – the rates are indicated on the monitor next to the parking lot. For example, renting a bike for a day costs $ 4,8-6,5, for a week – $ 20.

Rent a Car. Renting a car costs about $ 30-40 per day, depending on the chosen company. But keep in mind that in Israel – expensive gasoline ($ 1,7 per liter on average) and most parking lots – paid ($ 8-15 per day). Fines for incorrect or unpaid parking are high: from $ 30 to $ 140, and you will have to pay about $300 for towing a car to a fine parking lot.

Your own car is expensive. In addition to gasoline, annual auto insurance (like OSAGO) will cost $ 400-450. Car maintenance is also expensive. Often, Israelis rent a car from the company they work for. But this option is only good for those who make good money: monthly payments are $ 700-1,000 with all maintenance and gas expenses included.

As you can see from the table, it is expensive to own a car in Israel. However, using public transport and taxis will cost you much less than in other countries. In addition, the Israeli government offers many benefits for new immigrants and many other categories of citizens.

Yes, life in Israel is not cheap. However, despite the fact that Israel occupies an average price category among the USA, UK and France, it has very significant advantages.Comfortable climate. You will have the sunniest days in Israel. Despite the small area, the country has several significantly different climatic zones:

  • three seas;
  • desert territories;
  • mountainous areas.

Each zone corresponds to a unique microclimate that has a constant impact on the human body. Contrasts allow you to live where it is more comfortable, and relax where it is more useful. High standard of living in Israel. Qualified specialists receive a decent salary, allowing them to live comfortably, discarding worries about the future. Confidence is reinforced by social benefits. The State of Israel has done a great job:

  • education system;
  • healthcare;
  • transport links;
  • infrastructure;

  • food supply;
  • business development;
  • cultural development.

State support. The system of social protection of children, the disabled and the elderly is functioning reliably. The comfortable life of pensioners in Israel is supported by old-age payments, additional payments, pensions calculated on the basis of length of service, contributions to the pension fund, and the period of residence of a pensioner in Israel.

Every Israeli citizen has health insurance, a high level of medical care using new technologies and modern equipment. The age of the citizens of the country is constantly growing. In terms of longevity, Israeli citizens occupy high positions in the world. Low crime. Israel is famous for its calm streets, children walk on their own, in the evening, at night, without fear, you can walk through the streets alone. Street criminals are rare.

Ecological situation. The condition of water and air complies with the standards, which is constantly monitored by the state, special supervision services. To eliminate pollution, the number of cars on the roads of Israel is regulated. The resort areas of the country have been given a special status – the state monitors the maintenance of the environment at a high level.

Is israel expensive?

As we can see from the tables, prices in Israel for daily expenses are lower than in Europe, the US and the UK. At the same time, if we talk about food, then you will get the highest quality products even in an ordinary supermarket.

In Israel, they care a lot about a healthy lifestyle. Of course, such items of expenditure as an apartment in Israel are quite expensive, but with Israeli high salaries, everyone can choose the right option for themselves.

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