Over the past 30 years there have been two upsurges of migration activity of post-Soviet citizens in the direction of Israel. The largest in the early 1990s, i.e. immediately after the collapse of the USSR, and less impressive as a result of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 and 2022. Every year, tens of thousands of foreigners receive an Israeli residence permit or passport. About half of them are citizens of Russia and Ukraine.

Today the standard of living in Israel is comparable to many developed countries of the European Union, North America and Asia. The population of this small state in the Middle East is about 9 million people. At the same time 75% of Israeli citizens are Jews, 21% are Arabs, and the remaining 4% are listed as "others. Below, we outline the prices and costs of living, current tax rates, employment features, wages, as well as the pros and cons of living in Israel in 2024.

Living in Israel

Pros and cons of living in Israel

Life in Israel for foreigners from third countries may be more comfortable in comparison with the most prosperous and wealthy countries in Europe and the world. But people without Jewish roots to immigrate to this state is almost unrealistic. Let us highlight the positive and negative sides of moving to Israel for permanent residence.

Pros of living in Israel

  • Israel is quite a comfortable climate, unique historical sites, well-groomed sea coast, delicious cuisine, colorful bars, restaurants and many places to enjoy the exciting free time.

  • Developed market economy, focused on high technology, innovation and research, opens up great prospects for professional growth and the creation of a successful business in Israel.

  • Modern medicine and quality higher education system. However, the cost of education in Israeli universities for foreigners is very high. On average about 10-12 thousand euros per year.

  • Good infrastructure and public transport system.

  • Low level of street crime.

Pros and cons of living in Israel

Cons of living in Israel

  • Most immigrants complain about the high cost of living in Israel. And everything is expensive – real estate, food, clothing, medical services, and so on.

  • A high degree of militarization, the risk of military conflicts and terrorist attacks.

  • Environmental problems, including lack of fresh water and hot weather.

  • Despite the developed economy, it is very difficult to find high-paying jobs in Israel, especially for foreigners.

  • Far from always behave in Israel friendly and welcoming, and many Europeans and even consider Israelis rude.

Prices and cost of living in Israel

Israel is a very expensive country. According to a recent report of the OECD, among developed countries, higher price indexes only in Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. Especially sensitive to the "pocket" of the immigrant affects the rental housing. If you take the largest settlements, the average real estate prices in Israel in 2024 are as follows (shekels/dollars):


Property Jerusalem Tel Aviv Haifa
Hostel (twenty-four hours) 105 (29) 126 (35) 133 (37)
Hotel room (five stars/day) 995 (275) 920 (255) 1 010 (280)
Rent a Center Apartment (1 room/month) 4 100 (1 130) 5 200 (1 450) 2 200 (605)
Rent an apartment out of town (1 room/month) 2400 (660) 3 600 (990) 1 700 (470)
Rent apartment in the center (3 rooms/month) 7 700 (2 120) 9 300 (2 565) 3 600 (990)
Price of the property in the center (1 sq. m.) 38 000 (10 475) 53 000 (14 610) 18 000 (4 960)
Utilities (85 sq.m./month) 850 (235) 755 (210) 623 (170)

Prices in Israel in 2024

  • Bread (500 g) – 8.97 ₪

  • Milk (0.6 L) – 6.49 ₪

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – 13.93 ₪

  • Chicken Fillets (1 kg) – 37.51 ₪

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – 4.90 ₪

  • Cheese (1 kg) – 50.08 ₪

  • Bananas (1 kg) – 7.89 ₪

  • Apples (1 kg) – 11.48 ₪

  • Petrol (1 liter) – 7.14 ₪

  • Cab (1 km) – 4 ₪

  • Public transport fare – 5.90 ₪

  • Monthly bus pass – 225 ₪

  • Utilities (85 square meters) – 831.02 ₪ per month

  • Mobile communication (month) – 44.30 ₪

  • Internet – 100.62 ₪ per month

Note. Prices are quoted in local currency – Israeli Shekels (ILS). The exchange rate of one ILS today is 0.30 American dollar/Euro.

Taxes in Israel

Taxes in Israel

Israel has a complex tax system with high rates. For example, if annual income exceeds 698.3 thousand shekels (203 thousand dollars), income tax is charged at a rate of 50%. Local companies are required to be audited every year and are fully responsible for compliance with the fiscal laws of the country.

Tax rates in Israel in 2024

Corporate tax, interest, royalties – 23%

Dividend tax – 25 to 32%

VAT – 17%, reduced rate – 7,5%

Income tax:

  • Annual income from NIS 0 to 84,120 – 10%

  • Annual income from NIS 84,120 and 120,720 – 14%

  • Annual income from NIS 120,720 to 193,800 – 20%

  • Annual income from NIS 193,800 to 269,280 – 31%

  • Annual income from NIS 269,280 to 560,280 – 35%

  • Annual income from NIS 560,280 and 721,560 – 47%

  • Annual income over NIS 721,560 – 50%

Social contributions:

  1. If income exceeds 60% of average wage:

    • National Insurance – 14.6% (employee – 7%, employer – 7.6%)

    • Health insurance – 5%

  2. If income is less than 60% of average wage:

    • National Insurance – 3.95% (employee – 0.4%, employer – 3.55%)

    • Health insurance – 3.1%

Individual entrepreneurs pay social contributions at rates ranging from 5.97% to 17.83% of monthly income.

Work and wages in Israel

For official employment, each foreigner must first find a vacancy in an Israeli company, have an interview, sign an employment contract, obtain a work permit and open a work visa to Israel B1. This is a very complicated process, which takes from 2 to 4 months. The visa is tied to the workplace and is valid for one year with an option to extend up to 5 years.

Unfortunately, many applicants from abroad work in Israel illegally, for which the local laws stipulate deportation with a ban on visiting the country for 10 years. Sometimes used "gray scheme", when foreigners for a fee is helped to obtain refugee status, allowing some time to live quite legally and engage in professional activities in Israel.

The most popular occupations in Israel for foreigners are construction workers, agricultural workers, nannies, nurses, and maids. In the field of skilled labor have a chance to work experienced programmers, engineers and doctors. It is best to look for work in Tel Aviv and other major cities – Jerusalem, Haifa and Ashdod.

According to official information from Israel's National Insurance Institute, the minimum wage in Israel is 5,880.02 shekels a month ($1,595). And according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the average wage in Israel is 13,297 shekels a month ($3,610) before taxes. In net terms, local workers make around $2,200.

Higher education in Israel

Higher education in Israel

The Israeli higher education system consists of 63 institutions, including 8 public universities, 35 academic colleges (20 public and 15 private) and 20 teacher training colleges. The prestigious QS World University Rankings 2024 include six Israeli universities.

The oldest and most popular university is the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition, the Tel Aviv University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, located in Haifa, are in demand among students. One of the main conditions for admission to university in Israel is to pass a psychometric test.

Medicine in Israel

Israel has a quality system of medical services with qualified specialists, modern clinics and modern equipment. There are about 32,000 doctors, 9,000 dentists and 6,000 pharmacists, who work in both the public and private sectors.

The National Insurance Law provides a standardized basket of medical services, including hospitalization, for all residents of Israel. The main source of funding is the monthly social contribution for health insurance collected by the National Insurance Institute.

In conclusion, life expectancy in Israel in 2024 is 81 years for men and 84 years for women.

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