Israel Human and Economic Geography 1998

By | December 22, 2021


According to a 1998 estimate, the population of Israel (within the armistice lines of 1949, but including East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and Israelis residing in the administered territories) was 5. 984. 000 residents, With an increase – compared to the 1983 census – of about 44 %. As in the past, this increase continues to depend mainly on immigration, which between 1990 and 1996 was around 700. 000 people, coming largely from the former Soviet countries: currently 15 ÷ 20% of the total Jewish population is represented by Russian immigrants.

The natural movement is differentiated between the two main religious groups: the Jewish majority, in fact, presents a birth rate (18, 1 ‰) much less high compared to the Muslim minority (37, 9 ‰); mortality rates, however weak, ranging instead from 6, 9 ‰ of the Jews to 3 ‰ of the Muslims, resulting in a structure dominated by young people (one-third of the Israeli population is included in the age group ranging from 0 to 14 years old). The average population density is 289 residents / km ² (184 residents / km ²in 1983), but the distribution is very heterogeneous: according to official estimates, at the end of 1995 the tiny district of Tel Aviv included the 20, 4 % of the total population; the 21, 6 % lived in the Central District, 13, 2 % in the Haifa District, 13, 7 % in the South (which covers about two-thirds of the national territory, including the Negev desert, inhabited only by nomads), the 17 % in the North (including 31. 500People settled in the Golan Heights) and the ‘ 11, 8 % in the district of Jerusalem. Others 129. 700 Israelis lived in settlements in the West Bank and Gaza (but by the end of 1998 this had risen to over 180,000). For Israel 2017, please check

Economic conditions

The Israeli economy is highly developed and must certainly be considered as the most dynamic in the Near East, even if it should be noted that a significant contribution to the country’s economic growth derives from the substantial financial aid from the United States. Having chosen the path of liberalization since 1985, the Israeli economic system has rapidly integrated into the world economy. In the last years of the century, foreign investments multiplied; GDP increased in real terms by 7, 1 % in 1995, the 4, 4 % in 1996 (but only of ‘ 1.9 % in 1997) and, despite the fact that the labor market has had to absorb the newly immigrated labor force, the unemployment rate is now below 8 %. It added that the workforce is predominantly qualified: Israel has the highest percentage of researchers and engineers in the world (138 every 10. 000 salaried against 80 in the US). In 1998, per capita income reached 15. 940 dollars, an annual increase of 2, 6 % between 1990 and 1997.

Despite the hostility of the natural environment, agriculture largely ensures food self-sufficiency and allows profitable exports, especially in the field of fruit and vegetables. The irrigated areas extend for about 200. 000 ha, despite the lack of water remains a primary problem and there is a tendency to obtain the maximum qualitative and quantitative results without increasing consumption. The primary sector continues, as in the past, to be articulated around 267 large agricultural cooperatives (kibbutzim) and 411 cooperatives of small producers (moshavim).

The industrial sector, although it has to cope with the shortage of fuels and other mineral resources (90 % of energy needs are imported), is very diversified, with leading productions in the metallurgical, electronic, chemical, machinery and processing sectors. diamonds. Since the end of the Eighties, tourism has registered a moderate growth, which continued in the following decade, with one exception in the second half of 1990 and in 1991 due to the Gulf War: in 1997 the tourist movement was more than 2. 000. 000of people. Trade takes place largely with the United States, both inbound and outbound, but a growing share of trade takes place with the countries of the European Union.

The road network is increasingly efficient (from 2500 km in 1954 to 15,065 in 1996) and connects the main centers of the country, including those of the Negev; the railways count on 610 km of main lines and 355 km of secondary lines: the most popular is the coastline, from which some sections branch off towards the interior. The difficulties of exchange with neighboring countries have stimulated the development of maritime and air navigation: recently the government announced a privatization plan for the Israeli flag carrier El Al.

Israel Human and Economic Geography 1998