Israel Population and Economy in 1970’s

By | December 22, 2021

Population. – The state of Israel today it occupies 20,255 km 2, on which 3,493,200 residents live, with an average density of 172 residents per km 2. The population, largely Jewish, is divided into two groups of almost equal numbers: Jews born in Israel and those born abroad, demonstrating the strong incidence of immigration. The significant rate of growth (coefficient 2.8% in 1963-70) and the high concentrations of population in urban centers and along the coast (where densities are twice the national average) made it necessary to make considerable efforts for the exploitation and agricultural development of new land. Currently over 80% of the population lives in cities. For Israel religion, please check

The phenomenon of urbanism has also received a strong impetus from the attenuation of the pioneering spirit of the early times; therefore the cities have acquired an increasingly important role: the most obvious example is that of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the largest center of the country, modern, with a strong western imprint which is, moreover, one of the main components of the individuality of the state of THE. in the context of the Arab world.

Also worth mentioning are Jerusalem, the capital, Haifā, a good port on the Mediterranean and home to important petrochemical complexes, Eilat, a port on the Red Sea, and again Beersheba, Natanya, Ramat Gan, Petah-Tiqvah and Holon.

Economic activities. – Agriculture, on which the main efforts of the state were concentrated at the time of its formation, is no longer the primary economic component of the country; proof of this is that only 10% of the active population is employed in the primary sector. However it always occupies a prominent place; it is practiced through a cooperative management (only 15,000 ha are privately owned; the remainder belongs to the National Fund and the state) and is favored by increasingly widespread irrigation: today over 40% of the agricultural area (equal to 20% of the territory) it is irrigated. To solve the irrigation problem, in addition to the various reclamation works begun around the 1960s, important systems for desalination of the sea ​​water and the large aqueduct (108 km) was built that conveys the waters of the Yarqon in the far south of the country. Thanks to these efforts, over the past twenty years the gross national product per capita has doubled.

The rural population is distributed, according to strict planning, in:

1) Kibbutzim, where all property and gains are collective possession and work is organized in common;

2) M ō sh ā bob ĕ d ī m, based on mutual aid and equality between the members who cultivate farms all the same in size, where any paid work is prohibited;

3) M ō sh ā b, similar to mōshāb ‛obēdīm, but where paid work is allowed;

4) M ō sh ā b shit ū f ī, similar to the kibbutzim, but where each family has its own home and provides for it personally;

5) M ō sh ā bab, where private property is recognized.

The most widespread agricultural productions are cereals (wheat, 2.4 million q and barley), the cultivation of vines and citrus fruits (oranges, mandarins, but above all grapefruits of which Israel is the second largest producer in the world with its 4, 3 million q in 1975; Petah Tiqvah is the largest production center). Other important crops are horticultural, tobacco, olive, peanut, sisal and sesame. Finally, cotton and sugar beet crops are developing. Livestock breeding (cattle and birds) and fishing (on the sea and on Lake Tiberias) are insufficient for the needs of the country. The subsoil is poor; fuel is lacking, despite the presence of the oil wells of Helez and Kokhav in the northern Negev (43,200 t in 1976). The most important refineries are located in Haifā and Ashqelon, of which the first is connected with a 425 km oil pipeline in Eilat and Beersheba and the second with a 260 km oil pipeline in Eilat. The Kidod and Rosh Zohar natural gas fields (66 million m3 in 1974) are connected with a gas pipeline to the chemical plants of Sedom, on the Dead Sea. Other resources, also mostly insufficient to meet the needs of the country, are iron from northern Galilee, copper and natural phosphates from the Negev, brine from Atlit, rock salt and potash from Sedom, bromine and magnesium from the waters of the Dead Sea. Electricity, all coming from thermoelectric plants, reached 9150 mil in 1974. kWh (2 million kW of installed power); in addition, a nuclear reactor is in operation in Rishon le Zion.

The largest industrial area of ​​the country is concentrated around Tel Aviv-Jaffa, where there are very important textile (cotton and wool) and clothing industries, which absorb 25% of the workers in industry, tobacco factories, breweries, etc. The second industrial area is that of the Haifā plain, where the mechanical, chemical, petrochemical and cement industries prevail.

In Natanya there is an important diamond processing industry, with more than 9000 employees. Akko is home not only to steel industries (steel mills, also present in Ashqelon), but also to glass and automotive industries. In Ramla there is a factory for electric motors and in Bet Shemesh one for air motors; Finally, Hadera is the main center of the paper industry. The ways of communication are efficient and in continuous development; today two roads cross the Negev and the railways have exceeded 800 km. Civil aviation is also well organized: the air services are managed by El Al, which is the national airline, and by several foreign companies that mainly report to the international airport of Lydda (Lod). Main commercial and transit seaports are those of Haifā, Ashdod, Eilat (export of copper, phosphates and potash). The merchant navy had 65 ships in 1975 with a gross tonnage of 451,300 tons. Israel is one of the few states in the Near East whose trade does not end in the export of oil and the import of food resources and manufactured goods. But the scarcity of raw materials and the pressing burdens deriving from the huge war expenditures mean that the diversified picture of foreign trade is not matched by a positive balance of payments. On the contrary, the notable liabilities are only partially offset by the investments of foreign capital, mostly coming from the Jewish communities scattered all over the world. The trade, rather lively, is around 2,000 million US dollars per year, but the weight of imports is double that of exports. Commercial relations are more intense with the United States, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany.

Israel Population and Economy in 1970's