RAMAT HA-SHARON (Heb. רָמַת הַשָּׁרוֹן; "Sharon Height"), urban community with municipal council status, in central Israel, N. of Tel Aviv. Ramat ha-Sharon was founded in 1923 as a middle-class village (moshavah) primarily based on citriculture. Following the crisis in citrus exports during World War II, the settlers turned to other branches, including vegetable growing. In the late 1940s, industrial enterprises were opened. By 1947 the population reached 1,150. After the War of Independence (1948), a large ma'barah was included in Ramat ha-Sharon's area which covers 4,250 acres (1,700 ha.). The population increased quickly as the ma'barah inhabitants were gradually transferred to permanent housing and numerous veteran Israelis settled in Ramat ha-Sharon. It became a town within the Tel Aviv conurbation. Over the years, the moshavah changed its character from rural to urban. The number of inhabitants grew to 8,200 in 1958 and 17,600 in 1970. By 2002 it had reached 35,600, occupying a municipal area of 8.5 sq. mi. (22 sq. km.). Its population was well-educated, with high income and a high mean age level. Most residents earned their livings in the Tel Aviv conurbation. Some of Israel biggest industries, such Israel Military Industries and Elco, were located in Ramat ha-Sharon.