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In honor of Independence Day, the National Bureau of Statistics publishes its annual report and here are some of this year's figures.
KKL-JNF takes a particular interest in both rural and urban development. In every part of Israel one can find projects which KKL-JNF has built with help from friends worldwide, for the benefit of the entire population.
The population of Israel presently numbers 7,282,000. At the establishment of the State, the population of Israel was only 806,000 residents.
Approximately 5,499,000 residents are Jews, who make up 75.5% of the entire population.
The Arab population numbers approximately 1,461,000, and comprises 20.1% of the entire population of Israel.
The other ethnic groups who are immigrants and their descendants who are not listed as Jews in the Ministry of Interior number 311,000, or 4.4% of the population.
As of today, approximately 69% of the total Jewish population is native born "Sabras" as opposed to only 35% in 1948.
During the past year 156,400 babies were born.
Approximately 18,000 immigrants came to Israel.
During the past year the population of Israel has increased by approximately 130,000 residents, an increase of 1.8. Most of the growth (88.8%) stemmed from natural population growth.
As a result of population growth, the population density in the country increased from 43 people per square kilometer in 1948 to 310 per square kilometer in 2006. The area with the greatest population density is the area of Tel Aviv (with approximately 7,000 people per square kilometer) and the most sparsely populated area is the southern region (72 people per square kilometer).
In 2006 the population was more evenly distributed between the regions than in 1948. In 1948 the populations in the southern and northern regions were 19% of the total population, and until 2006 their portion increased to 31% of the total population. The portion of the population in the region of Tel Aviv and the center decreased during that time from 71% to 53%.
In 1948 there was only one city in Israel with more than 100,000 residents - Tel Aviv Yaffo (248,000), while in 2006 there were 14 cities of that size.
The level of education of the Israeli population has risen continuously. The portion of the adult population who were totally uneducated has decreased from 16% in 1961 to 3% in 2007, and the portion of those who completed 13 years of education or more increased from 9% to 42% accordingly.
In 1948 208 people received academic degrees at the Hebrew University and the Technion. In 2006 close to 53,000 people received academic degrees from 62 academic institutions.
During the years 1950-2007 the gross national product in Israel increased at a consistent average rate of 5%-6% per year. The product per capita increased by an average of 3% each year, and in 2007 the product per capita increased six times from that of 1950.
Between the years1950 - 2007 the portion of imported consumer goods decreased from 26% to 13%.
During the 1970s export to Europe made up 70% of all Israeli export due to the large portion of agricultural export within the general exported products. Over time export to Europe has decreased to 36% in 2007, while export to America and Asia has increased continuously from 25% to 68% and from 1% to 18% respectively.
Many industries were established from the time of the establishment of the State until the mid 1960s. In 1950 there were 20,000 industries, out of which 14% were defined as large industries (with over 10 employees). In 1965 the number rose to 25,000, of which 15% were defined as large industries.
During the years 1960 - 2007 industrial production increased by an annual average of 5.7%, while working hours for industrial labor increased by an annual average of 2.0%.
In 1950 Israeli exports totaled 35 million dollars, of which 49% was agricultural export, 25% consisted of diamonds, and approximately 26% consisted of industrial export including food products, textiles, and clothing. In 2007 export totaled 46 billion dollars, out of which 3% was agricultural produce, 47% was industrial export and 23% was polished and unpolished diamonds.
From the beginning of the 1950s until the end of the 1980s 60% of all agricultural areas were devoted to field crops. From 1990 this area decreased to 50%.
The area of vegetable cultivation increased drastically during the first four years of the state from 70,000 to 300,000 dunam (1 dunam = Â¼ acre). Between 1954 and 1988 the area increased from 300,000 to 400,000 dunam. From 1989 to 2005 it increased by 60% and reached 650,000 dunam.
In 2006 the amount of vegetables that were exported reached a peak of 260,000 tons.
Export of flowers, which began on a small level in the 1950s, increased from the end of the 1980s and reached its peak of 224,000 tons in 1988.
Since the establishment of the State there were 57 million tourist entries into Israel. Tourism increased from an annual average of 47,000 in the 1950s to 2.7 million in 2000.
Following the second Intifada that broke out in 2001 tourism declined to a low point of 900,000 in 2002. Since then there has been a rise in tourism and in 2007 the number of tourists reached 2.3 million.
Throughout the 60 years of Israel's existence there were 60 million exits of Israelis from the country. Since the establishment of the State this number has increased constantly from approximately 38,000 exits per year in the 1950 to a peak of 4.2 million in 2007.
Independence Day in KKL-JNF
On Wednesday evening, as Memorial Day comes to a close, we change, as we have throughout our history, from sadness to joy with the start of Independence Day events.
As always, KKL-JNF is prepared for hundreds of thousands of visitors in its sites across the country. Preparations for the holiday events include improving forest paths, preparing the picnic sites for visitors, distributing litter disposal bags at the parks during the holiday, and placing our staff on high-level alert in case of forest fires or emergencies.
For further details about the events of the day, click to our site: www.kkl.org.il/eng
The International Bible Quiz
The Bible quiz for the Diaspora took place in Dimona on 5th May, 2008 as part of the International Bible Quiz. 60 representatives from 37 countries participated together with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Vice Chairman of the KKL-JNF Yigal Yasimov, IDF head Education officer Brig. Gen. Eli Shermeister, Mayor of Dimona Meir Cohen and representatives of the Jewish Agency and Ministry of Defense.
As a new feature this year KKL-JNF listed the winner in the Golden Book and awarded the four runners up by planting 18 trees. The trees will be planted at the end of the shmita year.
The winner of the Diaspora Bible quiz was Rivka Whitey from Canada.
First Runner up: Shimon Londor from France
Second runner up: Naomi Kaltmannan from Australia
Third runner up: Rachel Assas from Mexico
Fourth Runner up: Dubi Nadler from the United States
The International bible quiz will take place on Israel's 60th Independence Day in Jerusalem and will be attended by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, KKL-JNF World Chairman, Efi Stenzler, who will award the prize to the third winner, Minister of Education Yulia Tamir, IDF Head Education Officer, Gen. Eli Shermeister, and Aharon Yadlin, head of the judging panel.
On Monday, 12th May, 2008 participants in the International Bible quiz will take part in activities at the archeological dig in Park Adulam as an expression of the full circle of connection between the people and their Land.
Happy Independence Day!
For more information, please visit our website at www.kkl.org.il/eng or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org