Friday, January 07, 2011

Oregon & Its Counties (above)
Population in Israel
Compared to Oregon, USA
Nadene Goldfoot

I live in Oregon. It's hard for most of my neighbors to picture how small Israel is. For instance, Oregon has 3,825, 657 people, or about 3.8 million. Israel has 7, 695,000. Out of this 7.5 million, 5,802,000 or 75.4% are Jewish; 1,573,000 or 20.4% are Arabs and 320,000 or 4.2% are probably Christians and others.

In size, Oregon is 97,073 square miles with land making 96,184 square miles. It's 395 mile from east to west and 295 miles from north to south.

Israel, by contrast, is made of 10,762 square miles including Judea and Samaria, so Oregon is about anywhere from 10 to 12 times bigger, which also depends on what you are including as making up Israel. Including just the Golan, it is 8,019 square miles. Israel is 290 miles long and including Judea and Samaria, administered areas, is anywhere from 71 to 84 miles wide, or in one place could be as little as 6 miles, depending on what you're counting. It used to be the joke that one didn't put their arm out of the window of the train or it would be in Jordan. The state of Virginia is close to Israel in population with 7,882,590.

There are 192,800 Jews living in East Jerusalem, and this is because Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. In all of Jerusalem there are 795,291 as of January 1, 2010. About 464,527 are Jews with 228,690 being Arabs.

Tel Aviv, the 2nd largest city has 404,400 population. There were around 16,000 in Safed, where I lived from 1981-1985. By 2008 the population had grown to 32,000.

67.1% of the Jews in Israel were born in Israel, so they are called Sabras. 22.6% are immigrants from Europe and the USA, of which I had been one. 5.9% were born in Africa and 4.2% were born in Asia.

There are 194 countries in the world and Israel is one of the smallest, but there are only 192 countries that are members of the U.N. The Vatican City and Kosovo are not members. Many think Taiwan should be included, and if they are counted, would make 195 countries.

So though Israel has almost twice as many people as Oregon has, it is about 1/12th in size. That's probably why most Israelis are living in high-rise apartment buildings. Very few actually get to live in a home. A few homes that I saw in Safed had been dug out of an earthquake that happened over 100 years ago. They were able to renovate the structure into a lovely home, though. I remember a wonderful use of potted plants inside the living room which made it look lovely. Doug Silverstein, author and retired principal also lived in a house. I loved to visit him, being I had never lived in an apartment building before and fought the elevator in my first experience in Safed.

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