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Country Profile of Israel

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS)
Web address
Position in the government
Chief Statistician reports to the Prime Minister's Office.
Multi-annual or annual work program
The CBS itself determines its work plan, within the framework of its budget. The work plan does not have to be approved by an external body or agency. The work program of the CBS comprises three main components:

1) Ongoing activities which are repeated on a regular basis (such as the LFS, or the annual publication of statistics on higher education);

2) Special, one-off projects;

3) Development work. Each year's work program refers to each of these three components; by the nature of things, the special projects and the development work are typically multi-year activities, and the work program for any given year sets the longer-term context for each year's plans.
Main duties
The CBS is the central body of the government whose role is to collect, process and publicize statistical information on the population, the economy and the society in Israel.

Government ministries need this information, mainly for policy making and planning and for tracking development. This information is also given to academic research institutions and the general public. In addition, the Bureau is responsible for coordinating statistical activity of government institutions and advising them on statistical issues.

The work of the CBS is done at a standard which is internationally accepted by most nations of the world and this enables comparisons of statistical information between Israel and different countries. The Bureau is empowered by the order of statistics (new version) 1972. Its main work focuses on preparing statistical data - current, monthly, quarterly and annually - on the following subjects: the national economy (product, consumption, capital formation, labour productivity, savings), the balance of payments and foreign trade, activity of the different industries of the economy (agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transport, commerce and services, etc.), price changes of goods and services, the population (its composition an factors of its growth), families and their financial and social situation (size, employment situation, unemployment, etc.), level of education, health, crime, services supplied to the population by central and local government, and more. In addition to these activities, the CBS conducts the Census of Population and Housing usually once every decade), as well as periodical surveys and other operations (which are conducted once every few years, such as the Family Expenditure Survey, Input-Output Tables, revisions of classifications, etc.) and one- time surveys.

These operations provide detailed data (geographical, industrial, etc.) on central phenomena in the economy and in society, that also serve as a basis for updating the statistical system.

Legal basis
Legal basis


Including the 1978 and 2008 amendments

* Published in Dinei Medinat Yisrael (Nusach Chadash) No. 24 of the 25th Nisan, 5732 (9th April, 1972), p. 500.

Amendment passed by the Knesset of the 27th Tammuz, 5738 (1st August, 1978) and published in Sefer Ha-Chuckim No. 908 of the 7th Av, 5738 (10th August, 1978), p. 201

** The following text is a compilation of the above two sources, representing the Statistics Ordinance (New Version), 5732-1972 as amended in 5738-1978 and is based on the official translation of those sources, as published by the Ministry of Justice.

The general statistics law under which the CBS operates, specifies the manner in which the Government Statistician is to be appointed and his or her authority and responsibilities; defines the role of the CBS; provides for the appointment of a Public Advisory Council on Statistics and defines its membership and role; provides for the conduct of censuses; specifies the subjects regarding which the CBS is authorized to conduct statistical activities; obligates the public, businesses, organizations and public bodies to provide information to the CBS; obligates the CBS to maintain confidential the information provided; provides for the publication of the information generated by the CBS; defines violations of the Statistics Ordinance; and authorizes the CBS to charge for its products.

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
Many government ministries have statistical divisions which generate and disseminate statistical information relevant to their operations. Among them are the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Bank of Israel, the Ministry of Finance, etc.

While the Statistics Ordinance requires government agencies to consult with the Government Statistician when planning statistical activities, and empowers the Government Statistician to be concerned with coordination of statistical activities among government agencies, in practice both consulation and coordination are random and infrequent.

Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
The Bureau's work plans and its activities are overseen by the Public Commission of Statistics, whose role is to advise government institutions on issues related to statistical operations in the country. The Commission is made up of representatives of the main producers and consumers of statistics in Israel.

Data collection
Most recent population census
27 December 2008
Access to administrative data
CBS makes extensive use of administrative data files, both identified and anonymized, including the national Population Registry, elementary, secondary and tertiary school attendees, VAT files, Social Security files, municipal tax files, births, deaths, marriages, divorces, termination of pregnancies, and many others.
Data confidentiality
There have been no known examples of the disclosure of individual data held by the CBS, or of their use for non-statistical purposes. The Statistics Ordinance under which the CBS operates guarantees the confidentiality of identifiable data it collects, and makes it a felony for any staff member of the CBS to release such data to persons or organizations outside the CBS. Internal CBS procedures are in place to control transfer of identified microdata files among CBS departments.

Data dissemination
Release calendar (existence, when and how published)
For the past six years the CBS has issued a weekly Advanced Release Calendar of press releases. In addition, it publishes: CBS's Press Releases' Publication Calendar and Forecast of Press Releases per quarter.
Main publications
The CBS publishes an annual annotated catalogue of available publications; a publications list updated monthly and included with each publication that appears; informational brochures about CBS services; information on new publications appears on the CBS web site. The CBS distributes statistical information that it collects in a wide variety of publications: the Statistical Abstract of Israel, monthlies (General Statistics, Prices and Selected Economic Indicators of Developments in Recent Months), quarterlies of branch statistics (Agriculture, Transport, Tourism and Hotel Services), Foreign Trade Quarterly, New Statistical Projects and Publications in Israel Quarterly, Census Publications, Special Publications and Technical Publications (statistical methodology, classifications, etc.). A great deal of information is distributed to users on magnetic media, as well, while maintaining strict confidentiality regarding details of the individual. Current and updated statistical information is also brought to the public's knowledge through press releases published daily by the Bureau.
Languages of main publications
Hebrew, English.
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
Availability of microdata for research purposes
The CBS does not release identifiable microdata files. It provides access to three kinds of anonymized microdata files with increasing level of detail for research and other purposes: Public Use Files (PUF) available to anyone, with level of detail determined by using the Argus (Statistics Netherlands) software package to set minimum disclosure risk parameters; Microdata Under Contract (MUC), with greater detail than the PUF, available only to approved researchers in approved institutions; Research Room files, anonymized but with maximum detail, available only in a secure on-site facility at the CBS to approved researchers for approved projects. Requests for release of PUF and MUC files must be approved by a Confidentiality Committee; approval for access to files in the Research Room is the responsibility of the CBS Chief Scientist.

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