>


Background: Israel

Independence: May 14, 1948 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration);

Adjacent Countries: Egypt (south), Jordan (east), Lebanon (north), Syria (east);
Click Here for a map

Government: Parliamentary Democracy; Capital: Jerusalem/Tel Aviv
Chief of State: President Moshe KATSAV (since 31 July 2000)
Head of Gov't: Prime Minister Ariel SHARON (since 2 March 2001)

Population (July 2001 est.):
5,938,093

Infant mortality rate (2001 est.):
7.72 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth (2001 est.):
Total Population: 78.71 years
Male: 76.69 years
Female: 80.84 years

Ethnic groups:
Jewish - 80.1% (Europe/America-born 32.1%, Israel-born 20.8%, Africa-born 14.6%, Asia-born 12.6%)
non-Jewish - 19.9% (mostly Arab)

Religions:
Jewish - 80.1%
Muslim - 14.6% (mostly Sunni Muslim)
Christian - 2.1%
other - 3.2%

Languages:
Hebrew (official), Arabic used officially for Arab minority, English most commonly used foreign language

Literacy: (definition: age 15 and over can read and write)(1992 est.)
Total Population: 95%
Male: 97%
Female: 93%