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Women read books more often than men Photo: Getty Image Bank Israel
Women read books more often than men Photo: Getty Image Bank Israel
Thirteen percent of Israeli don't watch television Photo: Index Open
Thirteen percent of Israeli don't watch television Photo: Index Open

What do Israelis do in their free time?

Central Bureau of Statistics survey shows two-thirds of women read books, about half of men engage in sports activities, 84% of Israelis read newspaper

Gad Lior
Published: 12.16.12, 13:21 / Israel Culture

Cinema or theater, books or newspapers, sports or television? A new survey released by the Central Bureau of Statistics analyzes and specifies Israelis' hobbies.


According to the compiled figures, which relate to 2011, 24% of the population over the age of 20 participate in classes or courses not for the purpose of professional training. Men attend classes at lower rates than women – 20% compared to 28%.


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Unsurprisingly, the extent of participation in leisure activities has to do with a person's income level. People earning more than NIS 4,000 (about $1,045) on average engage in such activities two or three times more than people earning up to NIS 2,000 ($525).


For example, 58% of high-income visited museums and art exhibitions compared to 16% of low-income individuals, but only 19% of high-income individuals went out to see a movie compared to 66% of low-income individuals.


The most common leisure activity is sports. Men engage in sports more than women (55% compared to 24%) and watch more sports events. Women, on the other hand, visit the theater more often than men (50% compared to 43%) and read books more often (67% compared to 57%).


Forty-one percent of Israeli who read books devote up to two hours a week to that hobby, 27% devote two to five hours, and 24% - more than five hours a week.


One of the most popular leisure activities is reading a newspaper: Eighty-four percent of Israelis over the age of 20 said they read newspapers. Men prefer articles on news and politics (86% compared to 72% of women), economics (51% compared to 22%) and sports (39% compared to 3%).


As for watching television or films at home, 23% of Israelis do it up to one hour a day, 32% - one to two hours a day, 23% - two to five hours a day, and 6% - more than five hours a day. Thirteen percent don't watch television at all.



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