Israel Facts:

Geopolitical and Economic Data

Below, you'll find Israel facts related to geography, politics and trade. In other words, a view of the State of Israel through numbers. If you want more facts about Israel in specific areas of interest, we also provide some links at the bottom of the page.

Location: Israel is located in the Middle East, on the Mediterranean Sea. It shares borders with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Its coordinates on the globe: 30 31 N and 34 45 E

Geography: The country is 290 miles (470 km) long and 85 miles (135 km) at its widest point.

Population: 7,112,359

Ethnic Groups: Israeli-born Jews 67.1%, European- or American-born Jews 22.6%, Africa-born Jews 5.9%, Asian-born Jews 4.2%, Arabs 23.6%

Flora and fauna: Israel is home to 2,600 types of plants, 500 bird species and 200 kinds of mammals or reptiles.

Independence Day: 14 May 1948

Government: unicameral parliamentary democracy

Capital: Jerusalem, pop. 729,100

Religion: Jewish 76.4%, Muslim 16%, Arab Christians 1.7%, other Christian 0.4%, Druze 1.6%, other 3.9%

Official Languages: Hebrew, Arabic. Most people you’ll meet speak some English and, increasingly, Russian or French.

Military Service: Compulsory for Jews and Druzes (18 years of age); voluntary for Muslims and Christians. Enlisted men: 36 months, enlisted women: 21 months, officers: 48 months. Following military service, men serve one month in the reserves every year until between the ages of 41 to 51. Women do reserve duty only until age 24.

Currency: the new Israeli shekel. Abbreviation: NIS

Agriculture: Only about 17%-30% of Israel’s land is cultivable. Nevertheless, Israel grows 93% of its own food. Agricultural exports are about 2.2% of Israel’s export trade.

Main exports: Israel exports add up to $30 billion a year. Nearly $11 billion of that is from high-tech products. Diamonds account for 21.1% of exports, metals and machinery 12.1%. Textile, clothing, food and beverages are also important export products.

The United States is Israel’s first export market, accounting for 36.7% of Israel’s exports.

The EU is Israel’s first source of imports, followed by Asia, then the United States.

More Israel facts:

For facts about Israel and trade, visit the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute.

For up to date economic data, see Recent Economic Developments published quarterly by the Bank of Israel.

Another fascinating source of data is the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.

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