People often ask me if things are expensive in Israel. That is obviously not a simple question. I thought it might be useful, for trying understanding what it is like to live here, to give some everyday numbers (rounded off, and based on the current exchange rate of about 4.6 shekels per US dollar):
Minimum wage: $3.90 per hour, about $700/month gross Average gross salary: $1380/month
Average household income: Top 10% of families: $8,500/month gross Median: $2,200 Bottom 10% of families: $700
In middle tax brackets, about 20% is deducted for income tax
Prices: Modest new house (1,300 square feet on a 5,000 square foot lot) in the Galilee: $165,000; a co-op apartment in a development town costs less; apartments in the large cities - more.
Old two bedroom apartment, in a decent but not upscale neighborhood in Tel Aviv: $600/month; in a smaller town like Karmiel or Beersheba - $350 Monthly local real estate tax: $0.05 per square foot of house
New Toyota sedan or equivalent: $25,000.
A years university tuition: $2,400 (no, I didnt leave off a zero) Local day care center, one year: $4,000
Gallon of gasoline: $3.70 Pound of tomatoes: $0.35; cucumbers: $0.18 Pita or roll: $0.20 Quart of milk: $0.85 Felafel sandwich: $2.80 Can of soda: $1.35 Family-size pizza: $10 Meal in a nice restaurant: $30 per person
Movie: $7 Haircut: $11 Pair of shoes: $100 and up Printed T-shirt: $10 Monthly subscription to internet server: $14 Shabbat flowers: $3 Bed and breakfast for two at a kibbutz guest house: $65 VCR: $250
Local bus fare in large cities: $1.10 Bus from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv (45 minute ride): $4.35 Train from Acco to Beersheba (3 hours): $11 Typical cross-town cab fare in large city: $6