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Poll: Finances Depress Usually Happy Israelis

Even happy people have worries, a poll shows, and it is finances – not terror or Iran – that depresses Israelis.
By David Lev
First Publish: 11/1/2012, 2:32 PM

Money.
Money.
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Polls consistently show that Israelis are among the happiest people in the world – but even happy people have worries, a poll shows. In commemoration of International Depression Day (marking the beginning of the Great Depression, on October 28/29 1929), a poll commissioned by the Psagot College in Or Yehuda showed that it is finances – not the prospect of terror attacks, health problems, or the prospect of nuclear annihilation at the hands of Iran – that depresses Israelis.

A poll earlier this year listed Israelis as the sixth happiest people in the world (bested only by Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Austria).

The representative poll of 256 men and 248 women (chosen scientifically as representative of the population) shows that women have higher worry and depression rates than men, and that the less educated an Israeli was, the more they worried about finances, and about life in general. Pollsters analyzing the results said that it was very likely that the less educated were more depressed about finances because they generally earned less.

Following personal finance, the issues that Israelis get the most blue about are the possibility of being injured or sick and ending up in the hospital, or marriage and family problems. Only then did the security issue appear as something Israelis were worried about.

Professor Amiram Raviv, dean of the Psagot College School of Psychology, said that the study “should light up a red light for officials in charge of economic policy,” indicating just how financially insecure Israelis felt. He added that caregivers providing assistance to depressed people should make sure to deal with the financial side of their problems.