All the information about the demographics of Israel
Israel has two official languages, Hebrew and Arabic. Hebrew is the primary language of the state and is spoken by the majority of the population, and Arabic is spoken by the Arab minority. Many Israelis communicate reasonably well in English, as many television programs are broadcast in this language and English is taught from the early grades in elementary school.
As a country of immigrants, many languages can be heard on the streets. Due to mass immigration from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia (some 120,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel), Russian and Amharic are widely spoken. Between 1990 and 1994, the Russian immigration increased Israel's population by twelve percent. More than one million Russian-speaking immigrants arrived in Israel from the former Soviet Union states between 1990 and 2004. French is spoken by around 700,000 Israelis, mostly originating from France and North Africa (see Maghrebi Jews).
Israel and the Palestinian territories comprise the major part of the Holy Land, a region of significant importances to all Abrahamic religions ??? Jews, Christians, Muslims and Baha'is.
The religious affiliation of Israeli Jews varies widely: a social survey for those over the age of 20 indicates that 55% say they are "traditional", while 20% consider themselves "secular Jews", 17% define themselves as "Religious Zionists"; 8% define themselves as "Haredi Jews". While the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredim, represented only 5% of Israel's population in 1990, they are expected to represent more than one-fifth of Israel's Jewish population by 2028.
Making up 16% of the population, Muslims constitute Israel's largest religious minority. About 2% of the population are Christian and 1.5% are Druze. The Christian population primarily comprises Arab Christians, but also includes post-Soviet immigrants and the Foreign Labourers of multi-national origins and followers of Messianic Judaism, considered by most Christians and Jews to be a form of Christianity. Members of many other religious groups, including Buddhists and Hindus, maintain a presence in Israel, albeit in small numbers.
The city of Jerusalem is of special importance to Jews, Muslims and Christians as it is the home of sites that are pivotal to their religious beliefs, such as the Israeli-controlled Old City that incorporates the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Other locations of religious importance in Israel are Nazareth (holy in Christianity as the site of the Annunciation of Mary), Tiberias and Safed (two of the Four Holy Cities in Judaism), the White Mosque in Ramla (holy in Islam as the shrine of the prophet Saleh), and the Church of Saint George in Lod (holy in Christianity and Islam as the tomb of Saint George or Al Khidr).
A number of other religious landmarks are located in the West Bank, among them Joseph's tomb in Shechem, the birthplace of Jesus and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.
The administrative center of the Bah??'?? Faith and the Shrine of the B??b are located at the Bah??'?? World Centre in Haifa and the leader of the faith is buried in Acre. Apart from maintenance staff, there is no Bah??'?? community in Israel, although it is a destination for pilgrimages. Bah??'?? staff in Israel do not teach their faith to Israelis following strict policy.
Israel has a school life expectancy of 15 years and a literacy rate of 97.1% according to the United Nations. The State Education Law, passed in 1953, established five types of schools: state secular, state religious, ultra orthodox, communal settlement schools, and Arab schools. The public secular is the largest school group, and is attended by the majority of Jewish and non-Arab pupils in Israel. Most Arabs send their children to schools where Arabic is the language of instruction.
Education is compulsory in Israel for children between the ages of three and eighteen.Schooling is divided into three tiers ??? primary school (grades 1???6), middle school (grades 7???9), and high school (grades 10???12) ??? culminating with Bagrut matriculation exams. Proficiency in core subjects such as mathematics, Bible, Hebrew language, Hebrew and general literature, English, history, and civics is necessary to receive a Bagrut certificate. In Arab, Christian and Druze schools, the exam on Biblical studies is replaced by an exam in Islam, Christianity or Druze heritage. In 2003, over half of all Israeli twelfth graders earned a matriculation certificate. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv University are ranked among the world's top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education. Israel ranks third in the world in the number of academic degrees per capita (20 percent of the population).