Israel

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

The State of Israel was declared in 1948, after Britain withdrew from its mandate of Palestine. Israel was admitted as a member of the UN in 1949 and saw rapid population growth, primarily due to migration from Europe and the Middle East. The Israeli economy has undergone a dramatic transformation in the last 25 years, led by cutting-edge, high-tech sectors.

Geography

Area

total: 21,937 sq km

land: 21,497 sq km

water: 440 sq km

Climate

temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas

Natural resources

timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide, clays, sand

People and Society

Population

8,914,885 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Jewish 74% (of which Israel-born 78.7%, Europe/America/Oceania-born 14.8%, Africa-born 4.2%, Asia-born 2.3%), Arab 21.1%, other 4.9% (2020 est.)

Languages

Hebrew (official), Arabic (special status under Israeli law), English (most commonly used foreign language)

Religions

Jewish 74%, Muslim 18%, Christian 1.9%, Druze 1.6%, other 4.5% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.44% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Capital

name: Jerusalem; note - the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 without taking a position on the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty

Executive branch

chief of state: President Isaac HERZOG (since 7 July 2021)

head of government: Prime Minister Naftali BENNETT (since 13 June 2021)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Knesset (120 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by closed-list proportional representation vote, with a 3.25% vote threshold to gain representation; members serve 4-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

high-income, technology- and industrial-based economy; recent debt spikes; high inequality and poverty disparities persist; significant tariff and regulatory burdens, especially in agriculture; hard-hit by COVID-19; quantitative easing in effect

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$353.39 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$38,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, potatoes, poultry, tomatoes, carrots, turnips, tangerines/mandarins, green chillies/peppers, eggs, vegetables

Industries

high-technology products (including aviation, communications, computer-aided design and manufactures, medical electronics, fiber optics), wood and paper products, potash and phosphates, food, beverages, and tobacco, caustic soda, cement, pharmaceuticals, construction, metal products, chemical products, plastics, cut diamonds, textiles, footwear

Exports

$113.87 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

United States 26%, China 9%, United Kingdom 7% (2020)

Exports - commodities

diamonds, packaged medicines, medical instruments, integrated circuits, refined petroleum (2019)

Imports

$96.53 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

United States 12%, China 11%, Germany 7.5%, Switzerland 7%, Turkey 6% (2020)

Imports - commodities

diamonds, cars, crude petroleum, refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment (2019)


Page last updated: Wednesday, Jun 15, 2022