Operation at Hadassah Hospital
Operation at Hadassah HospitalIsrael News Photo: (Flash 90)

Israel remains in the top tier of healthiest countries in the world to live in, according to the 2009 World Health Organization Statistics.

Life expectancy in Israel reached 81 in 2007, the most recent year for which statistics are available. That was only 2 years short of Japan's 83 and put Israel among the top 14 countries in the world, longevity-wise.

Israel was highly ranked in almost all other health categories in the WHO report. Israel’s health rankings were consistently higher than the average in European countries and much higher than the average in the Middle East country group, to which Israel belongs geographically (the WHO lists Israel in the European group, however).

The newborn mortality rate in Israel (3 per 1,000), the under five-years-old mortality rate (5 per 1,000) and the maternal mortality rate at childbirth (4 per 100,000) were much lower than the European averages of 10 per 1,000, 15 per 1,000 and 27 per 100,000 respectively.

In addition, the report said that in Israel 100 percent of people have access to improved drinking water sources, higher than the European average of 97 percent.

Israel also has an average of 37 doctors per 10,000 people, which is higher than the European average of 32.

According to the report, Israel has low incidences of infectious diseases across the board, while also having a population which has consistently high rates of immunization.

In Israel, 121 people per 100,000 die from cardiovascular disease – in Europe the average is 332.

Israel lagged behind, however, on hospital beds per person. In the Jewish state there are 60 beds per 10,000 people, but in Europe the average is 63. In addition, Israel spent eight percent of its Gross Domestic Product on health, but the European average is 8.4 percent.