Israel stands at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. Geographically,
it belongs to the Asian continent. Its western border is the Mediterranean Sea. To the north it is bound by Lebanon and Syria, to the east by
Jordan, and to the south by the Red Sea and Egypt.
Long and narrow in shape, Israel is about 290 miles (470 km) long and
85 miles (135 km) across at its widest point. Its total area is 22,072 sq. km
of which 21,643 sq. km is land area (Sea of Galilee: 164 sq. km.; Dead Sea:
Israel’s total land border measures 857 km., its Mediterranean coastline
194 km, and 12 km on the Red Sea.
The majority of Israelis (92%) live in urban communities. One quarter of
the Israeli population lives either in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv or Rishon LeZion.
Jerusalem is the largest city with 719,900 residents. Most of Israel’s
population is concentrated in the center of the country around Tel Aviv, which
has a population of 378,900.
Largest Cities by Population
Tel Aviv –Yafo 392,000
Rishon LeZion 219,500
Latest Population Figures for Israel
On its Independence Day, April 24th, 2012 the State of Israel’s
population stood at approximately 7,881,000 inhabitants – compared to
806,000 residents who lived in Israel in 1948, according to the Central
Bureau of Statistics data.
Of the total population, 5,931,000 are Jews (75.3 percent) while 1,623,000
million (20.6 percent) are Arabs. 327,000 (4.1 percent) of the people were
classified as “others”, mostly non-Jewish immigrants from the former
Soviet Union or those whose Jewish status is still undetermined by Interior Ministry.
This year the Israeli population grew by 135,000.
The large contributer to the increase was due to natural births. There
were 161,000 births recorded in Israel between the 2011 and 2012 Independence Days. During that same period, 19,000 new immigrants made aliyah to Israel, accounting for the rest of the growth in Israel’s population.