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The Home of Academic Studies on Israel

Israel at 65

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.

The only river in Israel: The Jordan River, approximately 250 km.

Main streams: Alexander, Besor, Hadera, Yarqon, Sa'ar, Qishon, and Soreq.

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: 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.

Highest Temperature Ever Recorded: 54°C (Tirat Zvi; June 21, 1942)

Lowest Temperature Ever Recorded: -13.7°C (Bet Netofa Valley; February 7, 1950)

People


1980
1990
2012
Population
3,921,700
4,821,700
8,018,000
Civilian Labor Force
1,318,100
1,649,900
3,204,200
Jews in Israel
      (% of World Jewry)
25
30
43
Life expectancy:
      Females
      Males

75.7
72.1

78.4
75.7

83.6
80.0
Infant Mortality
      (per 1000 live births)
15.6
9.9
3.7
School Population
1,200,700
1,451,300
1,564,700
% of Population with 13 years+ of schooling
19.2
25.3
44.4
Population, by Religion
Jews
75.4%
Muslims
17.3%
Christians
2.0%
Druze
1.7%
Not Classified
3.6%


Population, by Religion
Urban
91.4%
Rural
   Moshavim
   Kibbutzim
8.6%
3.8%
1.9%
Largest Cities, by Population
Jerusalem
804,400
Tel Aviv-Yafo
404,800
Haifa
270,300
Rishon Lezion
232,400
Ashdod
212,300

Immigrants, by Decade
1948-1959
960,000
1960-1969
374,000
1970-1979
346,000
1980-1989
154,000
1990-2001
826,300
2002-2011
215,200

Today, 73 percent of Israel's Jewish population were born in Israel.

Economy

1980
1990
2011
Gross Domestic Product (NIS mil.)
116
111,804
871,800
Net exports of goods (US$ bil.)
     Industrial products (excl. diamonds)
     Agricultural products
5,291.9
3,340.4
555.7
11,603.1
7,696.8
657.2
67,802.2
45,752.3
1,380.6
Net imports of goods (US$ bil.)
7,845.7
15,107.1
73,536.2
Tourists Arriving
1,065,800
1,131,700
2,820,200
Air Passengers
2,847,000
3,720,000
12,343,000
Air Freight Shipped (tons)
105,800
194,160
287,762
Electricity Production (mil of kw/hr)
12,400
20,900
57,145
Private cars
410,000
803,000
2,164,385

Education

Students in Universities & Colleges
1969/1970
35,374
1979/1980
53,355
1989/1990
75,487
1999/2000
170,953
2009/2010
243,858
2010/2011
251,000
University Students, by Field of Study
(Total 125,059 students in 9 universities)
Social Sciences
24.0%
Humanities
21.6%
Science/Math
15.4%
Engineering
14.9%
Medicine
10.8%
Business
7.4%
Law
4.6%
Agriculture
1.3%