life expectancy in Jordan

Jordan is an Arab country in West Asia with a population of more than 10 million people and a life expectancy of 74 years. Although some in Jordan face health and economic struggles, efforts are in place to raise the average life expectancy rate. Here are seven facts about life expectancy in Jordan.

7 Facts about Life Expectancy in Jordan

  1. As of 2017, road injuries ranked number nine of 10 factors causing the most deaths in Jordan. In 2007, road injuries ranked much higher at sixth, as there were 110,630 road accidents and 992 fatalities. That statistic increased from 1987’s 15,884 accidents. In response to these 2007 numbers, the Jordanian government applied new traffic laws in 2008 and increased police activity, which, ultimately, boosted life expectancy.
  2. Air pollution is in the top 10 risk factors of death and disability combined in Jordan. In urban areas, 50-90 percent of Jordan’s air pollution comes from road traffic, and based on a report in 2000, air pollution causes around 600 premature deaths each year. The main factor of poor air quality is lead-based gasoline used in cars, emitting lead pollution. In 2006, the government introduced two types of unleaded petrol for cars. However, air pollution was still a leading cause of death in 2017.
  3. Noncommunicable diseases are on the rise in Jordan. Even though these diseases cannot be transmitted to others, they remain some of the most common causes of death. From 2007 to 2017, Ischemic heart disease continued to be the number one cause of death for Jordanians and diabetes moved up from fifth to fourth. As of 2017, strokes ranked second.
  4. Chronic illnesses are some of the most common diseases in Jordan. Approximately one-third of Jordanians over 25 have a chronic illness or suffer from more than one. Reported chronic illnesses are largely caused by the practice of smoking tobacco. Out of the entire population, 38.2 percent use tobacco, including 65.5 percent of males over 15. If the amount of smokers does not decrease in the future, it will negatively impact the mortality rates and overall life expectancy in Jordan.
  5. Jordanian’s access to healthcare and insurance is increasing every year. From 2000 to 2016, on average, the percent of those insured increased by an average of 1.2 percent. Overall, 70 percent of Jordanians are insured. All children under six and citizens older than 60 are eligible for insurance with Jordan’s public healthcare sector as well. Primary healthcare clinics are available in both urban and rural areas, and those with insurance receive free medication.
  6. The Jordanian government developed a national electronic medical library (ELM). The ELM gives students and healthcare workers free access to medical resources to encourage and increase the number of people pursuing a career in medicine. The government hopes that the ELM will help increase the availability of healthcare and allow the medical industry in Jordan to flourish in the future.
  7. Mercy Corps has been supporting Jordanians since 2003. The organization has 250 workers in the country. Mercy Corps not only provides basic needs but also long-term solutions, such as working to reduce tensions between leaders in communities. Mercy Corps has helped more than 3,000 vulnerable households with costs to meet urgent needs and in 2017 alone, more than one million Jordanians benefitted from their work.

Although certain health and economic issues are prominent, Jordan is making improvements to its quality of living. The government is taking the initiative to move the country forward, economically and medically, which can only mean an increase in life expectancy in Jordan in the future.

– Jordan Miller
Photo: Unsplash


Causes of Poverty in IsraelOf the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Israel ranks twenty-sixth poorest when discussing gross income, or before government intervention. However, when poverty is discussed in net terms or income after government intervention, it is ranked second-poorest. According to a report by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, 31 percent of the country is living below the poverty line. Why is there such a discrepancy and what are the causes of poverty in Israel? There are a number of reasons.

  1. System of allowances
    The first of the causes of poverty in Israel is its system of allowances. While Israel, compared to other countries, collects a significant amount of income from the wealthy in the form of taxes, it lacks in its system of allowances. The government’s influence in curtailing poverty is at around 30 percent. Other countries’ participation is at around 60. Of the allowance payments made by the government, most are handled efficiently. Part of the solution lies in more system of allowances by the government.
  2. Low participation in labor market
    Another one of the causes of poverty in Israel comes from low participation in the labor market, specifically with two minority groups: ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab Israelis. As of 2011, only 48 percent of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and 28 percent of Arab-Israeli women were employed.According to a report by the Bank of Israel in 2015, “the dilemma [of poverty] becomes greater because about half of the poor in Israel belong to the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) community – a population sector that attributes great value to devoting time to studying the Holy Scriptures – and the traditional Muslim community, in which there are cultural restrictions on the employment of women.”For these cultural reasons, some of the ultra-religious in Israel choose not to search for jobs and therefore fall into poverty. This is also one of the reasons why the government’s influence on curtailing poverty is so low; it believes it will encourage living on allowances instead of looking for other means of income.

These main contributors work in conjunction to create a difficult environment for the government to control poverty. Between the low participation in the labor market and therefore lower system of allowances by the Israeli government, the population has suffered from impoverished conditions.

To combat these issues, the OECD has offered some recommendations that will hopefully decrease the poverty rate, the first of which includes increasing competition and efficiency in the domestic economy. An OECD survey noted that the banking industry is inefficient and concentrated.  Therefore, should allow the entry of new competitors into the market, particularly in non-banking credit entities.

Another way to improve the apparent disparity in the labor market is to boost “investment in infrastructure and promoting skills, particularly among disadvantaged groups [which] can both enhance social cohesion and raise long-term growth.” One of the last recommendations given was improving education for those disadvantaged groups like Arab women and the Haredi population so that they may increase their income levels and contribute to the economy.

Sydney Roeder

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in the Palestinian TerritoriesDue to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the people of the Palestinian territories are under a tremendous amount of stress. Adding to their troubles is the fact that citizens also have to worry about the risk of contracting certain diseases.

The most common diseases in the Palestinian territories are non-communicable; cancer and cardiovascular disease are especially common. Although there is not a lot of data on the matter, there is still enough to explain that these diseases are a serious problem. According to research, lung cancer is the cancer that is most responsible for male deaths in the Palestinian territories. Statistics also state that heart disease causes 26 percent of deaths there. While cardiovascular disease and cancer may be caused by people’s family histories and lifestyles, they remain an issue partially caused by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The division between the West Bank and Gaza makes access to healthcare more difficult to acquire for the people of the Palestinian territories. To cross the border, individuals need approved permits that allow them to do so. To make the process even more difficult, Israeli security services sometimes ask the patients to attend an interview in order to be granted access. The slow procedure of obtaining a permit results in health conditions worsening as the people wait for the opportunity to receive treatment.

Although the Israeli-Palestinian conflict provides the people with some obstacles, there have also been some advancements made. In 2015, Israeli authorities declared that men over 55 years and women over 50 years in age do not need permits. This caused the permit approval rate for West Bank patients to rise about five percent from the previous year. With improvements like this being made, healthcare access will hopefully continue to become more available and common diseases in the Palestinian territories – like cardiovascular disease and cancer – will become less common.

Raven Rentas

Photo: Google

Common Diseases in IsraelIsrael is a small country in the Middle East with immense significance to several religious groups including Jews, Christians and Muslims. Benjamin Netanyahu currently serves as the prime minister to more than 8 million Israeli citizens.

Israel has made tremendous progress in combating diseases in recent years. According to The Jerusalem Post, death rates from cancer, cardiovascular diseases and stroke “have declined by 80 percent since the middle of the 1970s.” While this is of course excellent news, there is still a lot of work left to be done. Here are some facts regarding common diseases in Israel:

Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that very infrequently leads to death, but does make the afflicted person ill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges that travelers heading to Israel receive the vaccine prior to their trip. This disease is transmitted by consuming contaminated food or water.

Diabetes is another common disease in Israel, ranking as the third and fourth most common cause of death among women and men, respectively. Despite the nation’s small size, Israel is a leader in improving conditions for those afflicted with diabetes. DreaMed Diabetes, a company founded in 2014 by American and Israeli researchers, uses algorithms to analyze and improve insulin therapy. The hope is that the company’s research will allow those with diabetes to have better control over the disease.

As previously mentioned, Israel has made great strides in combating cancer in the past several decades. However, these strides forward are not being evenly felt throughout the country. According to Haaretz, cancer death rates in the peripheral areas of Israel are 8 percent higher than in the geographical center of the country. Some groups of people have more success at fighting cancer than others. Professor Lital Keinan-Boker, the deputy director of the Health Ministry’s Center for Disease Control, told Haaretz that these discrepancies are likely the result of differences in awareness and usage of early detection technologies. Each year, roughly 11,000 Israelis die from some form of cancer.

Hepatitis A, diabetes and cancer are three common diseases in Israel. Progress has certainly been made, and that is extremely encouraging. Nonetheless, these diseases continue to affect much of Israel and its people.

Adam Braunstein

Israel Poverty Rates
Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would not only deter violent radicalism and terrorism but also reduce Israel’s poverty rates by opening the door to prosperity and human rights for all citizens. Israel is densely populated with 8.5 million people, one-fifth of whom are Arab. While 14% of Jewish Israelis are poor, 55% of Arabs live below the poverty line.

The divide over Gaza is one of many issues plaguing the peace process in Israel. A 2008 airstrike on Gaza damaged many houses and buildings, displacing thousands of Palestinian families. Mostly populated by Palestinians, Gaza is currently under Israeli blockade, cutting off necessities such as electricity, food and medicine.

On average, Arabs make half of what Jewish workers make and are less likely to hold a job. The limited access to power and electricity in Gaza leaves a majority of the 600,000 families unemployed and hungry. Unemployment rates are at an all-time low in Israel. Yet, 70% of those working earn less than average salaries. On the bright side, Israel established a joint initiative with large companies to hire more Israeli-Arabs in 2016, opening better career opportunities to 500 Arabs.

Israel’s poverty rates are affecting future generations. One in three children lives below the poverty line, causing lifelong consequences to health, brain development, nutrition and educational attainment. While school years have increased over time, the quality of education is still low because teachers earn low wages.

So far, American-mediated efforts to help resolve the conflict failed because Israel continues expanding West Bank settlements, Palestinians remain politically divided, and the path to constructive dialogue between Israeli-Arabs and Israeli-Jews is unclear.

The lack of peace is increasing Israel’s poverty rates and an unstable economic situation in West Bank and Gaza. World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza Marina Wes says that Gaza stands “on the verge of a human catastrophe.” All sides need to focus on relief combined with a commitment to financial support from the international community to bring about real changes.

Jennifer Mcallister

Photo: Flickr

Palestine Poverty Rate
Israeli blockades, land restrictions and a drop in foreign aid have ensured that Palestine’s poverty rate remains high, according to reports from the U.N. and the World Bank. However, new Israeli policies give Palestine some hope.

Palestine’s poverty rate is at 25%, and, among the youth, it is at 56%, which is the highest youth poverty rate in the world. Unemployment is at 40%, and last year 1,100 people were left homeless. While the population has increased steadily, the economy has not improved much. Over the last decade, the GDP growth rate has not exceeded 1.44%, but the population rose by 38.4%. Additionally, the business sector has lost between 50 and 60% of their pre-2014 assets, production, exports and employment.

Israeli policy is primarily responsible for Palestine’s poverty rate. Israel has blockaded the Gaza region for the 11th year in a row.  The Israeli government has also declared a third of the arable land in the area and half of Gaza’s fishing waters to be high-risk no-go zones. Additionally, last year Israel destroyed 780 Palestinian homes.

Palestine has not received much of the foreign aid that was pledged to it. The U.S. pledged $3.5 billion in 2014 but is far behind its aid plan, as 51% of the money has been disbursed. The U.S. drew up a recovery plan, but only 17% of the $3.9 billion of the recovery plan’s funds have been allocated to financial needs in the area. Moreover, 1.6 million tons of construction materials, which is only seven percent of what is necessary, was brought to Gaza since the 2014 summer war.

Israel has taken steps to better relations in the region. The Israeli government is instituting a plan to rebuild and reconstruct Palestine to combat Palestine’s poverty rate. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign affairs reported that 100,513 homes have been repaired and that 2,733 have been rebuilt. This plan will hopefully heal the political divide in the region.

While Palestine’s poverty rate remains high, political tensions ensure a stagnant economy and there is little incoming foreign aid, there may be room for a political compromise in the future. The international community remains dedicated to easing the situation in Palestine, ending the Israeli blockade around Gaza and ending land restrictions. With the help of the international community and more support from the Israeli government, Palestine’s poverty rate could drop significantly.

Bruce Edwin Ayres Truax

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Israel
Israel has a population of about 1.7 million people. Poverty in Israel affected about 22 percent of those people in 2014, which included 1,709,300 people, 444,900 families and 776,500 children. These rates have been rising ever since. This same year, the depth of poverty index, which refers to the gap between family income and the poverty line, also rose by about six percent. Poverty in Israel ranks second highest among OECD countries, just behind Mexico.

Little is done to combat poverty in Israel because the poor are of little interest to the government. The government’s main concern is with promoting the rich and the middle class in the country. The suffering of thousands poses a threat to the social resilience of the country, which means the government must take action.

Families with children are more likely to live in poverty in Israel due to the decrease in allowances. They are being stripped of these rights and in turn, Israel ranks fourth for highest child poverty rates.

These poverty rates can be linked back to several causes: low wages and unemployment rates in particular. It is possible that poor education is the root of these low wages and unemployment rates along with the already impoverished state of the country. The high cost of food, gas, utilities and rent are forcing more people into poverty in Israel. Emergency food has become an increasing demand as prices rise.

The Israeli government has created a couple of goals to reduce poverty after the National Insurance Institute released a report. The country’s Finance Minister, Moshe Kahlon, decided to revamp the corporate tax rates and give government aid to poor families. The corporate tax rate was cut by 1.5 percent by the cabinet, who unanimously approved this in November.

In addition, Israel has discussed the introduction of a welfare system that could bring income and take 187,000 people out of poverty. These efforts are promising but still not grand enough to save all of Israel. To make an impact, the country must focus on reorganizing its education system, and the government needs to take interest in the poor citizens, not just in the higher class.

Katelynn Kenworthy

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Israel
Poverty in Israel is widespread despite the nation’s booming economy. Approximately 22 percent of the population, or one in five Israelis, live in poverty according to a report by the National Insurance Institute in 2015. Among developed nations, Israel has the highest poverty rate, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The statistics on poverty differ depending on family structure. As the report establishes, families with children are more likely to be in poverty, with the rate holding at about 23 percent. Such is especially true for single-parent families or families with only one working parent. The rates also differ based on population group, with ultra-Orthodox families seeing a poverty rate of about 49 percent and Arab families about 53 percent.

Furthermore, a discrepancy exists due to age, with approximately 30 percent of children and 22 percent of the elderly living in poverty. Leket Israel food bank CEO Gidi Kroch said, “Israel is the poorest of the Western countries, with the widest gaps between the rich and the poor — a situation where the weakest populations, the elderly and children are suffering the most.”

Although the causes of such poverty are mixed, it can be attributed in part to low wages and employment rates, which may stem from poor education. In response to this impoverishment, the Israeli government has introduced a number of measures. Child benefits and the minimum wage have both been increased, leading to an advance in familial income. As for the elderly, welfare and disability allowances have also increased.

However, Israel’s welfare minister Haim Katz contends that welfare and tax benefit increases are not drastic enough. Average salary, as Katz points out, does not determine welfare benefits. He plans on changing this, declaring: “If we linked income support to average salaries we would immediately remove 187,000 from poverty.”

In addition to adapting the welfare system, the Israeli government should pursue a better standard of education. Regardless of which measures the government pursues, it is evident that poverty in Israel must be addressed immediately. “If things continue as they are,” Israeli economist Dan Ben-David reports, “we are heading to a third-world economy.”

Gigi DeLorenzo

Photo: Flickr

Top 3 Diseases in Israel
While Israel has been able to lower the number of deaths caused by diseases, many conditions in Israel are still prevalent. The death rates from certain diseases in Israel have declined by 80 percent since the 1970s, but there is always room for improvement. Here are the top three diseases in Israel.

Top Three Diseases in Israel

  1. Cancer: Cancer, the major killer in Israel, caused almost one-quarter of total deaths in Israel in 2011. Even though the cancer rate is relatively low compared to other countries, cancer is still a primary cause of death. The most common cancer among Israeli men is lung cancer, which is primarily caused by tobacco smoking. The most common cancer among Israeli women is breast cancer. About 4,500 Israeli women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and 900 dying from it. However, according to the Israel Cancer Association, the number of women surviving breast cancer is steadily on the rise thanks to research and technology able to detect early signs. It has also been reported that the lung cancer rate among men is lower than most countries.
  2. Coronary Heart Disease: Coronary Heart Disease is the second most prevalent cause of death in Israel. Together, cancers and heart disease account for 40 percent of deaths. However, like cancer, heart disease in Israel is being contained. The death rate from heart disease in Israel has dropped by 50 percent since 1998, partly due to declines in smoking and national campaigns against obesity, diabetes and hypertension. The people of Israel have been willing to change their lifestyles to prevent heart disease. There are also reliable ambulance services in Israel to respond to any emergency.
  3. Diabetes: Diabetes is the next leading cause of death after cancer and heart disease. Compared to other countries, deaths from diabetes are high in Israel. But the country has tried a number of ways to defeat diabetes including using an artificial pancreas, medical smartphones and glucose-sensing enzymes. Researchers have also been looking for a cure with the help of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Israel Science Foundation. Scientists are also working on an antibody to block killer cells that destroy helpful cells in the pancreas.- Emma MajewskiPhoto: Flickr

Hunger in Israel
Israel’s economy is indisputably very strong. Despite being the size of New Jersey, the Jewish State has the second-most high-tech startups on Earth and has unemployment charting at 4.8 percent. While this data may be encouraging, the economic report fails to mention the issue of hunger in Israel.

The National Insurance Institute reported that almost a quarter of Israel’s population lives below the poverty line, putting this country among the poorest nations of all OECD countries. As many as a third of Israeli children are impoverished.

Along with staggering beggary, about 110,000 of the 444,000 poor Israeli families live day by day with a shortage of food supplies.

In light of these conditions, Social Affairs Minister Haim Katz passed an ambitious plan to tackle food insecurity in a situation starving for solutions.

The four-month-old National Food Security Program aims to combat hunger in Israel by granting subsidies to households with limited purchasing power. Households are deemed eligible if their income is near poverty levels — Israel’s Social Affairs Ministry will give $85 per month to families that qualify.

Katz’s lofty goals will not be palpable for a while. The National Nutritional Security Council, an advisory group within the Social Affairs Ministry, will only fund vouchers for around 20,000-25,000 families, leaving over 75,000 families without assistance.

The United States allocates $3.1 billion annually in foreign aid to the Jewish State, yet 100 percent of the funding goes to “peace and security.” In addition, 25 percent of Israel’s defense budget comes from American taxpayers.

Without allocating any funds to food security, the U.S. government announced in July that it will grant Israel “the largest pledge of military assistance to any country in U.S. history.”

Although evident why the requisite of renewing this military assistance must occur, the money’s allocation unfortunately neglects the 444,000 families who suffer from severe hunger in Israel.

Providing humanitarian aid to malnourished Israelis is not impossible. Americans who are keen to contact their elected officials can incite change towards improving Israel’s food insecurity.

Calling Congress can have a potentially huge impact on hunger in Israel. Legislators like Betty McCollum admit to being influenced by constituents when hundreds of them dial to enact legislation.

Famished families in Israel are not just hungry for food, they are ravenous for change. Investing in food security is investing in stability, and that stability can also help bolsters Israeli consumers in an American-dominated market.

Noah Levy

Photo: Flickr