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Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East

Understanding the Cost of Living in Israel

If you're planning to visit or live in Israel, it's important to understand that it's not a particularly inexpensive place to live. In fact, many people who visit Israel are surprised to find that most items cost pretty much what you'd expect to pay in Western countries. This can often come as quite a shock to those who are looking for a cost-effective backpacking trip. However, if you're planning to live and work in Israel, you'll undoubtedly be pleased to learn that the country also has a very diversified economy as well as plenty of booming businesses and industries.

Israel's National Earning Average

Although Israel certainly has its share of problems, for the most part it has enjoyed a period of growth. The country as a whole is ranked among the top 30 countries in the world in regards to national earning average. However, the situation is quite different for Palestinians who work in the area. In many case, Palestinians have found that their job prospects have diminished dramatically. Among the Palestinians, poverty probably affects almost 50% of the people. Many Palestinian families find themselves depending heavily on money sent back home from family members who are living abroad. The fact that Western prices are practically the norm in Israel undoubtedly makes it extremely difficult for these poverty-stricken families.

Israel's Overall Economy and Industries

When one looks at Israel, it's often noted that the country lacks natural resources. However, this lack of resources has not stopped Israel from developing a diverse economy. Although many people view Israel as a rural country, in the field of technology it's actually a leader. When compared to the rest of the world, Israel has a surprising number of technology companies. In fact, when compared to other countries as well as the various states of the United States, Israel comes in second to California's first place in regards to the number of technology companies present.

In addition to the technology boom, manufacturing is also big business in Israel. You'll find quite a number of companies producing a wide array of products, including construction materials, electronic equipment, and even biomedical and aeronautical equipment. Of course, it's impossible to look at Israel without seeing the influence that the diamond industry has had on the country. In Ramat Gan you'll find the largest diamond exchange in the world. Diamond polishing and cutting are very important to Israel's economy.

Traditional industries and trades such as the textile industry and farming are still prevalent throughout the countryside of Israel. However, the Security Wall that was constructed has in many cases made the use of farmland a bit challenging. In many cases, this wall cut directly through farmland. Palestinian farmers have additional challenges to deal with, due to the fact that they often find it difficult to get produce to market. Export restrictions are another challenge that Palestinian farmers have to face. Many of the economic and industry problems that affect Israel are direct results of the political and military climate of the country. When these situations improve, Israel's overall economy will probably improve as well. Still, in spite of these challenges, it can be quite exciting and rewarding to visit or live in Israel if you get the chance to do so.

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