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Facts about Israel

Updated on May 22, 2013

Just the Facts, Ma'am

This is a lens about Israel. It is no secret that Israel is a political hot spot, but this lens will try to present facts about Israel that are not volatile. If you have any suggestions for additional facts, please leave them in the comments section below.

Size and Population

This information is care of the CIA World Factbook (the Israel section)

  • Israel the 159th smallest country in the world, just ahead of El Salvador.
  • Israel has less than 1/1000th of the world's population.
  • Median age is 29.1 years. (2009 est.)
  • Birth rate: 9.77 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
  • Death rate: 5.43 deaths/1,000 population (2009 est.)
  • Infant mortality rate: 6.89 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Percentage of people age 15 and over can read and write (literacy) is 97.1%.
  • Population: 7,233,701 (June 2009 estimate)


Unless otherwise stated, this information is from the CIA's World Factbook.

  • Long and narrow in shape, the country is about 290 miles (470 km.) in length and 85 miles (135 km.) in width at its widest point. Israel is a little bigger than New Jersey (the fourth smallest state in the United States of America).
  • Geographic Coordinates: 31 30 N, 34 45 E
  • Israel has 1,017 km of shared border land. The breakdown is as follows: Egypt 266 km, Gaza Strip 51 km, Jordan 238 km, Lebanon 79 km, Syria 76 km, West Bank 307 km.
  • The Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at -408 meters, is in Israel.
  • The highest point in Israel is Har Meron, at 1,208 meters
  • I learned the seas as follows: Med, Red, Dead, et al. The Mediterranean Sea lies to the west. The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean and touches the southern tip of Israel. The Dead Sea, which is actually a lake, is between Israel and Jordan. The Sea of Galilee is also a lake, but it is a freshwater lake, which makes it extremely important in the arid desert climate. The Sea of Galilee is located in the North.
  • Arable land clocks in at a meager 15.45%.
  • Natural resources are timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, and sand.
  • Environmental and International Agreements:

    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation.


  • Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
  • Almost all three- and four-year-olds attend some kind of preschool program.
  • School attendance is mandatory from age five, and free through age 18.
  • Most Israeli students are over age 21 when they begin their studies, after three years compulsory military service for men and almost two years for women.

Israeli Universities - The Universities in Israel, listed in alphabetical order

I've linked to the English versions of all of these sites, since Squidoo serves an audience which mostly speaks English.

Technology and Innovation

  • The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.
  • Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel.
  • The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
  • Both the Pentium-4 microprocessor and the Centrino processor were entirely designed, developed and produced in Israel.
  • Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
  • Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.
  • The technology for the AOL Instant Messenger ICQ was developed in by four young Israelis (1996).
  • Israel produces one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
  • Israel has the second largest number of startup companies in the world (mostly in high-tech).


You won't see them on the streets of main cities, but there are a lot of camels in Israel.

Main Cities

  • Jerusalem, the capitol
  • Tel Aviv, center of the country's industrial, commercial, financial and cultural life
  • Haifa, major Mediterranean port and the industrial and commercial center of northern Israel
  • Beer Sheba, largest urban center in the south. It provides administrative, economic, health, education and cultural services for the entire southern region.
  • Information from The Israel Foreign Ministry here


  • The Middle East has been growing date palms for centuries. The average tree is about 18-20 feet tall and yields about 38 pounds of dates a year.

    Israeli date trees are now yielding 400 pounds/year and are short enough to be harvested from the ground or a short ladder.

  • Israel's natural resources are timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays and sand. Love that magnesium bromide!
  • 15.45% of Israel is arable land and 3.88% is permanent crops.
  • Sandstorms may occur during spring and summer in Israel. Other natural hazards are droughts and periodic earthquakes.
  • Information from The CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia.

Good Doobees

  • Israel was the first nation in the world to adopt the Kimberly process, an international standard that certifies diamonds as "conflict free."
  • When the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was bombed in 1998, Israeli rescue teams were on the scene within a day -- and saved three victims from the rubble.
  • In 1984 and 1991, Israel airlifted a total of 22,000 Ethiopian Jews (Operation Solomon) at risk in Ethiopia, to safety in Israel.

Military Might

  • Israel has the fourth largest air force in the world, after the United States, Russia, and China.
  • Israel's air force has an aerial arsenal of over 250 F-16's. This is the largest fleet of F-16 aircraft outside of the U. S.
  • The military is compulsory for Jews and Druzes and voluntary for Christians, Muslims and Circassians. The age of service is 17 years old. Both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript service obligation - 36 months for men, 21 months for women.

Mifletzet (Monster) Park

Mifletzet (Monster) Park
Mifletzet (Monster) Park

Finance, Money, and Business

  • Israel has the highest average living standard of the Middle East.
  • The per capita income in 2000 was over $17,500, exceeding that of the UK.
  • On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech startups.


  • When Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, she became the world's second elected female leader in modern times.
  • Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East (though maybe that will change soon).
  • Israel is a parliamentary democracy.
  • The Knesset is Israel’s legislative authority (their Congress). It is a 120-member unicameral parliament which operates in plenary session and through 15 standing committees. Its members are elected every four years in universal nationwide elections.


  • Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
  • Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin - 109 per 10,000 people


The Guestbook - Your Feedback

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    • tmsmith19 profile image

      tmsmith19 4 years ago

      Great information!

    • profile image

      StrongMay 4 years ago

      Hebrew University came in number 53 best university in an international survey.

      Some girls have a mandatory military service of 3 years too, depending on their unit. Age of service is 18, but first notice is at sixteen and a half.

    • profile image

      StrongMay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I might have come across it once... but Israel is more into "Cola" (Coca-cola) and Sprite.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


      Do they have Dr. Pepper in Israel, or not.


    • profile image

      naomiyoung 5 years ago

      Not only that, but a lot more!

    • profile image

      StrongMay 5 years ago

      Did you know, the disk-on-key (USB) was also an Israeli invention.

    • profile image

      sherioz 6 years ago

      Thanks for this positive note on Israel.

    • Hrsshoe profile image

      Hrsshoe 6 years ago

      wonderful lens thank you

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      Israel is indeed the Holy Land! perhaps one day i will have the opportunity to visit that amazing place! cheers

    • Jennifer Einstein profile image

      Jennifer Einstein 6 years ago from New York City

      @Senora M: Thanks. It really is an amazing and inspirational place.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 7 years ago

      Cool lens. My husband and I just returned from Israel. We were so excited to walk where Jesus walked!

    • GuyB LM profile image

      GuyB LM 7 years ago

      a very concise and well done lens. You should be the spokesperson for Israeli tourism

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

      how funny I was going to mention my cousin Trixi always goes to Israel (she is there now) and then I see she left a comment below in '08...small world.

      A trip there is on my bucket list...

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks this web site helped me so much and now i will maks a hundred on my final exam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! love always. brittney

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      These are some cool fact but some of them are blocked on this web site but im sure i will find my information for my project thanks so much love always, brittney

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Thanx I;m doing a project and this info is AWSM

    • profile image

      TrixiJahn 9 years ago

      Great lens!!! Super! *5 from me for this one!

      If you have time have a look at my Israel lens.

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 9 years ago

      Join the Israel Group. This is perfect. Great information on colleges and info about everything.

    • profile image

      triviatime 10 years ago

      I'm very impressed.


      the facts are very intriguing and informative.

      one minor issue: you talk about AOL ICQ. i may be mistaken, but last i heard AOL produced AIM, not ICQ. Of course, AOL's ICQ division may have been bought out.

      keep it up, and well done.