5 Impressive Facts On Israel

When you travel, you sometimes learn things about a country that surprise you. Israel is definitely one of those places for me. It is so much more than I expected. Yes, I expected amazing historical and religious sites, but there’s so much more to Israel than its travel destinations. So much more than what you see at your first look. For a country the size of New Jersey, there’s a lot going on in Israel. It’s is a very powerful country, with many interesting facts. Here are 5 facts on Israel that really surprised, and impressed me.

5 Impressive Facts On Israel

1. Israel Is Known As The “Startup Nation”

Israel has long been known as the “Startup Nation”, as it has the highest density of tech startups in the world. Some even call it Unicorn country. Unicorns are privately started tech companies worth over $1B. In mid 2022 there were 92 of them.

CEOWORLD magazine ranked Israel as the 4th most start up friendly country in the world in 2021, based on competitiveness and capabilities in a “scientific and technical-focused” economy.

In 2023, statista.com ranked Israel 3rd in the world, which is very impressive for its small size.

There are many suggestions why there are so many successful startups here. Some say it’s due to their conscription based military (mandatory service). Men must spend 2 and a half years in the military and women 2, upon turning 18. The experience they receive there gives them an edge over youth in other countries, training them in tech, teamwork, and leadership. The Israeli culture is also part of its own success. A small country, Israel has had to be historically on the defensive, and they’ve had to be resourceful with very few resources (living in the desert). Because of this, Israelis grow up with a sense of drive, tenacity, and chutzpah, that allows them to overcome traditional barriers.

2. Israel Is One of the Most Innovative Country’s In The World

In 2021 Bloomberg Innovation Index ranked Israel as the 7th in the World’s most innovative economies. Although in 2022, they dropped in rankings, WIPO ranked them 14th, brining them back up to tone of the top 15 in the world.

Some amazing innovations have come out of Israel, like the first Firewall program to block malware, FaceID the Apple facial recognition software in iPhones, Lazer keyboards, the PillCam, a swallowable camera to diagnose digestive disorders, SniffPhone, a phone that sniffs out diseases, Nanowire, a conductor a thousand times thinner than a human hair, and so, so, so many more there’s an entire Wikipedia page devoted to Israeli innovations.

The Peres Center for Peace and Innovation is a great place to learn about how Impressive Israel is
View from Peres Center for Peace & Innovation at Jaffa Beach

I first learned about Israel’s role in worldwide innovation at the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation. The center, located on Jaffa Beach, was founded by Shimon Peres in 1996.

“Let us look ahead, let us dream big – and make this world a peaceful place, a better place, for all people, for every person.”

Shimon Peres

I visited and learned about super-cool startups – like roads with batteries embedded underneath them to charge electric vehicles as they drive. There’s also a room where you can interact with full size videos of Israeli inventors discussing their struggles and triumphs.

You must book a ticket in advance as spaces fill up quickly. Visit the Peres Center for Peace & Innovation to lean more.

3. Israel Is One Of The Most Powerful Country’s In The World

After the first 2 interesting facts, this one probably doesn’t surprise you, but Israel consistently ranks as one of the most powerful countries in the world. US News And World Reports ranks Israel as the 11th, following the US, China, Russia, Germany, the UK, South Korea, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

They evaluated key categories including political stability, economic influence, defense budget, weapons, global alliances, soft power, and military strength.

4. Israel Is One Of World’s Most Expensive Countries

This one is easy to see if you ever visit Israel. I was surprised to find food and necessities so expensive here.

On Worlddata, Israel ranked as having the 4th highest cost of living worldwide in 2021. Numbeo’s Cost of Living Ranking for mid-2023 ranks Israel as 18th highest. And much of this is due to Tel Aviv. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Tel Aviv was ranked as the most expensive city in the world in 2021, up from 5th in 2020.

Different sites rank differently, but there is a consistent message, it’s expensive to live here!

Tel Aviv Today

In contrast, 111 years ago, in 1909, Tel-Aviv area was just sand dunes. 66 Jewish citizens divided up the land with seashells to create a modern city, where they could live peacefully, away from the chaos of Jaffa. This literally blew my mind! You can read more on this fascinating story at rarehistoricalphotos.com.

Tel Aviv 1909 | Photo Credit Unknown

5. Israel Has One of the World’s Most Battle Trained Militaries

Israel has one of the most battle trained militaries in the world. If you’ve been to Israel, this fact may not be so surprising to you, as the military in Israel seems to be everywhere!

This is true for 2 reasons. First, due to the number of conflicts they’ve been involved in recent years. Israel has had a difficult past and they work hard to maintain what they have! Second, Military training is compulsory for men and women, at age 18. Two and a half years for men and two for women. This means that somewhere around 100,000 teens join Israel’s military every year.

Consription not only provides it’s citizens with valuable skills and education, it also builds a strong sense of pride to it’s citizens. 

Israel having one of the best trained militaries in the world is one of the facts on Israel
Israeli Military Woman in Old City Jerusalem

Want To Learn More About Israel?

Israel is really an amazing country. One that everyone should visit. It’s small, but mighty, packed with a lot of amazing history.

Jerusalem is its most visited location, with the area within its 16th century walls packed with the world’s top Holy Sites. There’s a staggering amount of history and sites here. See Top Things To Do In Jerusalem for details.

Ancient Jaffa, or Tel Aviv-Yafo, one of the world’s oldest port cities is also full of vibrant history. The cobblestoned alleyways of the Old City, full of galleries, hip cafes, and bars, is a fun place to spend a few days. And it’s location on Mediterranean beaches add to its allure.

I also recommend visiting Palestine while you’re here. I took the bus from Jerusalem to Palestine to visit Bethlehem and the Art of the West Bank Wall. A very enlightening trip that I’m glad I took.

As with many countries I’ve visited, Israel is one I definitely want to return to. I feel like a barely scratched the surface and want to see more.

For an overview of all the top spots in Israel, how to get around, logistics, money matters, and more, see my Ultimate Israel Travel Guide.

I hope you enjoyed my post on impressive facts in Israel. If you have one I’ve missed, or have a comment, please add it below.

Hello! I resigned from a corporate career in product development to explore the world. Although my goal was to travel for a year, 8 years later, I’ve been honored to have explored more than 60 gorgeous countries and met some unbelievably amazing people. Our world truly is a beautiful place! Follow me into the gorgeous unknown by subscribing below. You’ll receive details on fabulous destinations, comprehensive travel guides, travel tips and tidbits, and information on travel trends, like experiential, sustainable, and transformational travel. Where is your next gorgeous unknown? Julie

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