Statistical information Israel 2001Israel

Map of Israel | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Israel in the World
Israel in the World

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Israel - Introduction 2001
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Background: Following World War II the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine and the UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently the Israelis defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. The territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile unless otherwise noted. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 1991 bilateral negotiations are being conducted between Israel and Palestinian representatives (from the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip) and Israel and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement. On 25 April 1982 Israel withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace. On 25 May 2000 Israel withdrew unilaterally from southern Lebanon which it had occupied since 1982.

Israel - Geography 2001
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Location: Middle East bordering the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Lebanon

Geographic coordinates: 31 30 N 34 45 E

Map referenceMiddle East

Total: 20,770 km²
Land: 20,330 km²
Water: 440 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries
Total: 1,006 km
Border countries: (6) Egypt 255 km; , Gaza Strip 51 km; , Jordan 238 km; , Lebanon 79 km; , Syria 76 km; , West Bank 307 km

Coastline: 273 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: to depth of exploitation
Territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate: temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas

Terrain: Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley

Extremes lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
Extremes highest point: Har Meron 1,208 m

Natural resources: timber potash copper ore natural gas phosphate rock magnesium bromide clays sand oil
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 17%
Permanent crops: 4%
Permanent pastures: 7%
Forests and woodland: 6%
Other: 66% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1800 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: sandstorms may occur during spring and summer; droughts

Note: there are 231 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the West Bank 42 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights 25 in the Gaza Strip and 29 in East Jerusalem (August 2000 est.)

Israel - People 2001
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Note: includes about 176,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, about 20,000 in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, about 6,900 in the Gaza Strip, and about 173,000 in East Jerusalem (August 2000 est.)
Growth rate: 1.58% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: NA%

Noun: Israeli
Adjective: Israeli

Ethnic groups: Jewish 80.1% (Europe/America-born 32.1% Israel-born 20.8% Africa-born 14.6% Asia-born 12.6%) non-Jewish 19.9% (mostly Arab) (1996 est.)

Languages: Hebrew (official) Arabic used officially for Arab minority English most commonly used foreign language

Religions: Jewish 80.1% Muslim 14.6% (mostly Sunni Muslim) Christian 2.1% other 3.2% (1996 est.)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 27.36% (male 831,523; female 792,982)
15-64 years: 62.73% (male 1,869,114; female 1,855,707)
65 years and over: 9.91% (male 253,105; female 335,662) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.58% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 19.12 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 6.22 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.85 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: limited arable land: and natural fresh water resources pose serious constraints; desertification; air pollution from industrial and vehicle emissions; groundwater pollution from industrial and domestic waste chemical fertilizers and pesticides
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Marine Life Conservation

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male/female
Total population: 0.99 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 7.72 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 78.71 years
Male: 76.69 years
Female: 80.84 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.57 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.08% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 2,400 (1999 est.)
Deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 95%
Male: 97%
Female: 93% (1992 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Israel - Government 2001
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Country name
Conventional long form: State of Israel
Conventional short form: Israel
Local long form: Medinat Yisra'el
Local short form: Yisra'el

Government type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Jerusalem; note - Israel proclaimed Jerusalem as its capital in 1950 but the US like nearly all other countries maintains its Embassy in Tel Aviv

Administrative divisions: 6 districts (mehozot singular - mehoz); Central Haifa Jerusalem Northern Southern Tel Aviv

Dependent areas

Independence: 14 May 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National holiday: Independence Day 14 May (1948); note - Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948 but the Jewish calendar is lunar and the holiday may occur in April or May

Constitution: no formal constitution; some of the functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948) the Basic Laws of the parliament (Knesset) and the Israeli citizenship law

Legal system: mixture of English common law British Mandate regulations and in personal matters Jewish Christian and Muslim legal systems; in December 1985 Israel informed the UN Secretariat that it would no longer accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Moshe KATSAV (since 31 July 2000)
Head of government: Prime Minister Ariel SHARON (since 2 March 2001)
Cabinet: Cabinet selected by prime minister and approved by the Knesset
Elections: president elected by the Knesset for a five-year term; election last held 31 July 2000 (next to be held NA July 2005); prime minister elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 6 February 2001 (next to be held NA 2005); note - in March 1992, the Knesset approved legislation, effective in 1996, which allowed for the direct election of the prime minister, but in 2001 the Knesset voted to restore the previous method under which the legislators will choose the next prime minister after the next legislative elections in 2003
Election results: Moshe KATSAV elected president by the 120-member Knesset with a total of 60 votes, other candidate, Shimon PERES, received 57 votes (there were three abstentions); Ariel SHARON elected prime minister; percent of vote - Ariel SHARON 62.5%, Ehud BARAK 37.4%; note - after the next legislative elections scheduled for 2003, the prime minister will be elected by the Knesset

Legislative branch
Elections: last held 17 May 1999 (next to be held NA November 2003)
Election results: percent of vote by party - One Israel 20.2%, Likud Party 14.1%, Shas 13%, MERETZ 7.6%, Yisra'el Ba'Aliya 5.1%, Shinui 5%, Center Party 5%, National Religious Party 4.2%, United Torah Judaism 3.7%, United Arab List 3.4%, National Union 3%, Hadash 2.6%, Yisra'el Beiteinu 2.6%, Balad 1.9%, One Nation 1.9%, Democratic Movement NA (party formed after election, members elected under Yisra'el Ba'Aliya list); seats by party - One Israel 26, Likud Party 19, Shas 17, MERETZ 10, Yisra'el Ba'Aliya 4, Shinui 6, Center Party 6, National Religious Party 5, United Torah Judaism 5, United Arab List 5, National Union 4, Hadash 3, Yisra'el Beiteinu 4, Democratic Movement 2 (party formed after election, members elected under Yisra'el Ba'Aliya list), Balad 2, One Nation 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (justices appointed for life by the president)

Political parties and leaders: Balad or National Democratic Alliance [Amnon LIPKIN-SHAHAK]; Center Party [Yitzhak MORDECHAI]; Democratic Movement [Roman BRONFMAN]; Gesher [David LEVI]; Hadash [Muhammad BARAKA]; Labor Party [leader vacant]; Likud Party [Ariel SHARON]; MERETZ [Yossi SARID]; National Democratic Alliance (Balad) [leader NA]; National Religious Party [Yitzhak LEVY]; National Union [Rehavam ZEEVI] (includes Herut Tekuma and Moledet); One Israel [leader NA] (includes Labor Gesher and Meimad); One Nation [Amir PERETZ]; Shas [Eliyahu YISHAI]; Shinui [Tommy LAPID]; United Arab List [Abd al-Malik DAHAMSHAH]; United Torah Judaism [Rabbi Eliezer SHACK spiritual leader]; Yisra'el Ba'Aliya [Natan SHARANSKY]; Yisra'el Beiteinu [Avigdor LIEBERMAN]

International organization participation: BSEC (observer) CCC CE (observer) CERN (observer) EBRD ECE FAO IADB IAEA IBRD ICAO ICC ICFTU IDA IFAD IFC ILO IMF IMO Inmarsat Intelsat Interpol IOC IOM ISO ITU OAS (observer) OPCW OSCE (partner) PCA UN UNCTAD UNESCO UNHCR UNIDO UPU WHO WIPO WMO WToO WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador David IVRY
In the us chancery: 3,514 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 364-5,500
In the us fax: [1] (202) 364-5,607
In the us consulates general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador Martin S. INDYK
From the us embassy: 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv
From the us mailing address: PSC 98, Unit 7,228, APO AE 9,830
From the us telephone: [972] (3) 519-7,575
From the us fax: [972] (3) 517-3,227
From the us consulates general: Jerusalem; note - an independent US mission, established in 1928, whose members are not accredited to a foreign government

Flag descriptionflag of Israel: white with a blue hexagram (six-pointed linear star) known as the Magen David (Shield of David) centered between two equal horizontal blue bands near the top and bottom edges of the flag

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Israel - Economy 2001
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Economy overview: Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial government participation. It depends on imports of crude oil grains raw materials and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. Israel is largely self-sufficient in food production except for grains. Cuts diamonds high-technology equipment and agricultural products (fruits and vegetables) are the leading exports. Israel usually posts sizable current account deficits which are covered by large transfer payments from abroad and by foreign loans. Roughly half of the government's external debt is owed to the US which is its major source of economic and military aid. The influx of Jewish immigrants from the former USSR topped 750,000 during the period 1989-99 bringing the population of Israel from the former Soviet Union to 1 million one-sixth of the total population and adding scientific and professional expertise of substantial value for the economy's future. The influx coupled with the opening of new markets at the end of the Cold War energized Israel's economy which grew rapidly in the early 1990s. But growth began moderating in 1996 when the government imposed tighter fiscal and monetary policies and the immigration bonus petered out. Growth was a strong 5.9% in 2000. But the outbreak of Palestinian unrest in late September and the collapse of the BARAK Government - coupled with a cooling off in the high-technology and tourist sectors - undercut the boom and foreshadows a slowdown to 2%-3% in 2001.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 5.9% (2000 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 4%
Industry: 37%
Services: 59% (1999 est.)

Agriculture products: citrus vegetables cotton; beef poultry dairy products

Industries: high-technology projects (including aviation communications computer-aided design and manufactures medical electronics) wood and paper products potash and phosphates food beverages and tobacco caustic soda cement diamond cutting

Industrial production growth rate: 7% (2000)

Labor force: 2.4 million (2000 est.)
By occupation: public services 31.2% manufacturing 20.2% finance and business 13.1% commerce 12.8% construction 7.5% personal and other services 6.4% transport storage and communications 6.2% agriculture forestry and fishing 2.6% (1996)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 9% (2000 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: NA%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 2.8%
Highest 10: 26.9% (1992)

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $40 billion
Expenditures: $42.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 0.1% (2000 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $31.5 billion (f.o.b. 2000)
Commodities: machinery and equipment software cut diamonds agricultural products chemicals textiles and apparel
Partners: US 36% UK 6% Benelux 5% Hong Kong 4% Netherlands 4% (1999)

Imports: $35.1 billion (f.o.b. 2000)
Commodities: raw materials military equipment investment goods rough diamonds fuels consumer goods
Partners: US 20% Benelux 11% Germany 8% UK 8% Switzerland 6% Italy 5% (1999)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $38 billion (2000 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: new Israeli shekels per US dollar - 4.0810 (December 2000) 4.0773 (2000) 4.1397 (1999) 3.8001 (1998) 3.4494 (1997) 3.1917 (1996)

Israel - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 35.437 billion kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 99.89%
By source hydro: 0.11%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 31.899 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 1.061 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 4 million kWh (1999)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Israel - Communication 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 2.5 million (1999)

Telephone system
General assessment: most highly developed system in the Middle East although not the largest
Domestic: good system of coaxial cable and microwave radio relay; all systems are digital
International: 3 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .il

Internet users: 1 million (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Israel - Military 2001
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $8.7 billion (FY99)
Percent of gdp: 9.4% (FY99)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Israel - Transportation 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 55 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 30
With paved runways over 3047 m: 2
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 4
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 7
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 10
With paved runways under 914 m: 7 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 25
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 4
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 20 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 30
Over 3047 m: 2
2438 to 3047 m: 4
15-24 to 2437 m: 7
914 to 1523 m: 10
Under 914 m: 7 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 25
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 20 (2000 est.)

Heliports: 2 (2000 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 708 km; petroleum products 290 km; natural gas 89 km

Total: 610 km
Standard gauge: 610 km 1.435-m gauge (1996)


Waterways: none

Merchant marine
Total: 17 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 631,582 GRT/745,011 DWT
Ships by type: container 16, roll on/roll off 1 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals

Israel - Transnational issues 2001
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Disputes international: West Bank and Gaza Strip are Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement - permanent status to be determined through further negotiation; Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied (Lebanon claims the Shab'a Farms area of Golan Heights)

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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