Southwestern Asian state. At the 1995 census, the population was 5,612,300, which had risen at the end of 2005, according to Israeli government data, to 6,990,700, including those of the various settlements (241,500 in the West Bank and 16,500 in the Golan; the Israeli residents of East Jerusalem, for which official figures are lacking, are estimated by various sources between 175,000 and 184,000 ; the 8200 of the Gaza Strip were evacuated in August 2005 ; see below: History). In the period 1990-2000 the average annual rate of population growth was 3 %, mainly due to the influx of over one million immigrants, of which 900,000 (22.5 % Christians or of unspecified religion) from the former Soviet Union ; but in the period 2000 – 2005 this rate dropped to 2 %. At the end of 2005, 76 % of Israel’s population was made up of Jews and 19 % of Arabs of different religions (mostly Muslims); of the Jews, 68 % were born in Israel, 22% were immigrants from Western countries or the former socialist area and 10 % from developing countries of Africa and Asia. According to the ‘ Human Development Report 2005 of the UN, he occupied in 2003 the 23 th place (out of 177) in the HDI ranking ( Human Development Index ).
According to best-medical-schools, the Israeli one is characterized as a technologically advanced market economy with high state participation. In 2005 the contribution to the composition of the GDP of the major sectors of activity was: agriculture 1.8 %, industry 21.7 %, services 76.5 %. Until 1985 industrial activities, mainly low-tech and export-oriented, were strongly supported by protectionist policies; later they were affected by radical restructuring processes that improved their efficiency and competitiveness. Labor-intensive productions (especially textiles and clothing) have been relocated to neighboring countries (Jordan, Egypt, Turkey), where the cost of labor is decidedly lower. But it was above all the high-tech industries (electronics, telecommunications, information technology, biotechnology) that developed dramatically, reflecting the strong growth of the world market and the increased interest of the financial markets for these types of activities. The advantage of Israel 20 % in 1990 to 39.5 % in 2000, and also attracted massive investments from abroad (which rose from $ 537 million in 1992 to approximately $ 5.3 billion in 2004). The Israeli economy has thus become heavily dependent on high technology; therefore the recession phase experienced by the global market in this sector between 2000 and 2002 had particularly serious repercussions in Israel, especially since it coincided with the conditions of insecurity produced by the second intif ā ḍ a Palestinian. GDP thus recorded a marked decline (- 1.6 %) in the two-year period 2001-02 (also due to a fiscal tightening aimed at containing rising inflation), but grew by 1 % in 2003 and, due to of the increased demand for Israeli products on foreign markets, by 5 % in the two-year period 2004 – 05. Major high-tech companies are located in or around Tel Aviv (Ramat Gan, Herzliyya) and Haifa; there are numerous and ultra-modern technology parks, particularly in the Jerusalem and Haifa areas.
In addition to high-tech products, cut diamonds, precious stones, medicines, rubber and plastics, metals, agricultural products (fruit and vegetables) contribute to forming the total value of exports. Imports mainly concern energy resources, minerals and cereals.
Tourism, which had grown steadily until 2000 (2.4 million visitors and 3 % of GDP), was heavily penalized in the following two years by the resumption of hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians (September 2000), from the terrorist attack to United States (September 2001) and by the persistent conditions of insecurity; it subsequently experienced a clear recovery (1.9 million visitors in 2005).