Israel at 61: A Statistical Glimpse

(2009)


Geography

Israel stands at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. Geographically, it belongs to the Asian continent. Its western border is the Mediterranean Sea. To the north it is bound by Lebanon and Syria, to the east by Jordan and to the south by the Red Sea and Egypt. Long and narrow in shape, Israel is about 290 miles (470 km.) long and 85 miles (135 km.) across at its widest point. Its total area is 22,072 sq km, of which 21,643 sq km is land area (Sea of Galilee: 164 sq km; Dead Sea: 265 sq km). Israel’s total land border measures 857 km, its Mediterranean coastline 194 km, and 12 km on the Red Sea.

Geographical Regions

Arid zones 45%
Plains and valleys 25%
Mountains 16%
Rift valley 9%
Coastal strip 5%

Selected elevations:

Mt. Hermon, Golan - highest point in Israel 7,300 ft. 2,224 m.
Mt. Meron, Upper Galilee 3,964 ft. 1,208 m.
Mt. Ramon, Negev 3,396 ft. 1,035 m.
Mt. of Olives, Jerusalem 2,739 ft. 835 m.
Mt. Tabor, Lower Galilee 1,930 ft. 588 m.
Mt. Carmel, Haifa 1,792 ft. 546 m.
Dead Sea - lowest point on earth - 1,368 ft. - 417 m.

Natural resources

Raw materials for construction of buildings and roads: gravel and stone, sand, kurkar, clay, limestone, gypsum, and tuff.
Raw materials for manufacturing: potash, bromine, magnesium, salt, phosphates, sand, clay, and limestone.
Energy sources: natural gas, oil shale.

Climate

Israel is on a "climatic crossroad", which is a transitional area between a temperate and arid climate. The southern and eastern areas of Israel are characterized by an arid climate, while the other areas are characterized by a Mediterranean climate. Due to this climatic formation, there is high variability in the amount of precipitation from year to year, and in the different areas of the country.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Israel was 54°C (Tirat Zvi on 21 June 1942)
The lowest temperature ever recorded in Israel was -13.7°C (Bet Netofa Valley on 7 February 1950)

People

  1980 1990 2007
Population 3,921,700 4,821,700 7,243,600
Civilian labor force 1,318,100 1,649,900 2,893,800
Jews in Israel, as a percentage of world Jewry 25 30 41
Life expectancy
   Females
   Males

75.7
72.1

78.4
75.7

82.5
78.8
Infant mortality
(per 1000 live births)
15.6 9.9 4.3
School population 1,200,700 1,451,300 2,187,494
Percentage of the population (15+) with 13 years or more of formal schooling 19.2 25.3 42.7
 

Population by Religion

Jews 75.6%
Muslims 16.7%
Christians 2.1%
Druze 1.7%
Not classified by religion 3.9%

Population Distribution

Urban localities 91.7%
Rural localities 8.3%
  Of which:
   Moshavim
   Kibbutzim

3.5%
1.7%

Largest cities by population 

Jerusalem 747,600
Tel Aviv-Yafo 390,100
Haifa 264,900
Rishon Lezion 224,300
Ashdod 207,000

Immigrants by Continent
1948-2007

Europe 1,820,250
Africa 501,234
Asia 430,735
America & Oceania 246,597
Unknown 31,591

Immigrants by Year of Immigration

1948-1951 688,000
1952-1959 272,000
1960-1969 374,000
1970-1979 346,000
1980-1989 154,000
1990-1999 956,400
2000-2007 240,000

Economy  

  1980 1990 2007
Gross Domestic Product (NIS millions) 116 111,804 641,355
Net exports of goods (US$ billions) 5,291.9 11,603.1 45,916.5
thereof:
  Industrial products (excl. diamonds)
  Agricultural products

3,340.4
555.7

7,696.8
657.2

34,275.6
1,326.0
Net imports of goods (US$ billions) 7,845.7 15,107.1 56,105.2
Tourists arriving 1,065,800 1,131,700 2,267,900
Air passengers 2,847,000 3,720,000 10,151,000
Freight shipped by air (in tons) 105,800 194,160 340,220
Production of electricity (millions of kilwatt/hours) 12,400 20,900 53,613
Private cars 410,000 803,000 1,779,301

Economic growth (Ministry of Finance) 

GDP growth:    2007: 5.3%     2006: 5.2%;     2005: 5.3%

GDP per capita growth: 3.4%

Private Consumption Growth:    2007: 6.6%     2006: 4.5%;     2005: 4.0%

Business GDP growth:    2007: 6.1%     2006: 6.5%;     2005: 6.5%

Industrial GDP growth: 4.3%

Public Consumption Growth:    2007: 2.6%     2006: 2.3%;     2005: 2.9%

GDP per Capita:    2007: $25,762 (80% of OECD members' average) 2006: $24,271;     2005: $22,812

Education

First Degree University Students by Field of Study
(Total 122,650 students in 7 universities)
Humanities 23.6%
Social Sciences 23.3%
Science and mathematics 16.6%
Engineering 13.6%
Medicine 9.9%
Business & Administration 7.2%
Law 4.4%
Agriculture 1.4%

* Figures based on the Statistical Abstract of Israel, No. 59, 2008


Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs