UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. (May. 14)
A picture of Israel as a healthy, growing society in every phase of economic, social and cultural activity, emerged here today from the 1960 edition of the United Nations Statistical Yearbook issued today by the Department of Economics and Social Affairs, and includes the latest available information-on everything from population and area to infant mortality and food consumption-from virtually every country and region in the world.
An upward curve is traceable from the statistics in Israel’s industrial and agricultural production, health and schooling, development and social security. However, during the same period, expenditures have increased vastly, the interest on the public debt has gone up, tax receipts have zoomed, and the country’s overall deficit has also reached the highest point in Israel’s history.
The negative balance-the difference between total receipts and total expenditures-has gone up from minus 50,730,000 Israeli pounds ($28,408,800) in 1950 to minus 363,440,000 ($203,526,400) as of March 31, 1961, the UN data shows. Israel’s population, as of midyear of 1959, is given as 2,061,000. The country’s employment in manufacturing rose from the base index of 100 in 1953 to an index of 116 in 1959. Unemployment has fallen steadily from 17.7 percent in 1953 to 7.4 percent in 1959. Industrial production grew from the base figure of 100 in 1955 to an index figure of 113 in 1960. The agricultural production index went up from 100 in 1954-55 to 132 in 1958-59.
The rate of Israel’s infant mortality-always considered an index of a country’s willingness or ability to assume basic responsibility for the health of its population-shows what observers here note as great progress. Israel’s infant mortality rate for the Jewish population has decreased steadily from 36.3 in 1948 to 27.3 in 1959. The figure is based on deaths of infants under one year of age per 1,000 live births, excluding still-births. Comparisons show that the infant mortality rate in 1959 in the United States was 26.4; in Switzerland, 22.2; and in Britain, 23.1.
Israel had 4,323 physicians in 1958 and 1,387 dentists. For physicians that worked out to approximately one doctor for each 462 persons in the Israeli population. That is about twice a many physicians per person as recorded in the United States, where there is one physician for about 900 persons.