People and Society
Since Israel’s birth in 1948, its population has grown fivefold. Its 6.5 million inhabitants come from various ethnic backgrounds, religions and traditions. Jews make up 77.2% of the population, while non-Jewish citizens, mostly Arabs, account for about 22.8%
School attendance in Israel is mandatory from age 5, and free through age 18. Many of Israel’s universities are recognized worldwide as important centers of scientific research.
Most Israeli citizens are required by law to serve in the military once they have reached age 18. For men, service lasts three years, for women, two years. With its high level of motivation and professionalism, the Israeli military ranks among the best in the world.
Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel, but many other languages, especially English, can be heard in the country’s streets. Hebrew, the biblical language long limited to Jewish liturgy and religious literature, was revived a century ago.