How do you measure a country’s growth, the societal changes it undergoes and the stress points it faces?

Some numbers are obvious — like the size of a country’s population.

In the case of Israel, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, some of the figures are more subtle — such as the number of female members of the Knesset or the number of army deferments granted to yeshiva students. Since Israel’s founding, more women are taking their place in the country’s parliament, a symbol of women’s growing representation at the highest level of the Israeli government. And as Israelis debate the very character of their country, the issue of charedim serving in the military has emerged as a key issue.

In the charts that follow, The Jewish Week tracks several key indicators of changes in Israeli society, decade by decade, starting with the birth of a Jewish nation in 1948.

Sources: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, American Jewish Year Book, Virtual Jewish Library, Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research,
Marvin Goldman, World Population Review, Hiddush-Freedom of Religious for Israel, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Hebrew University

 

An El Al plane at Ben-Gurion Airport, above. Despite its intermittent wars, Israel has emerged as an increasingly attractive tourist destination.
An exercise class at Kibbutz Yagur, circa 1950s, top. The kibbutz population dipped in the 1990s but has bounced back. Photos by Wikimedia Commons

 

Sources: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, American Jewish Year Book, Virtual Jewish Library, Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research,
Marvin Goldman, World Population Review, Hiddush-Freedom of Religious for Israel, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Hebrew University

 

Army deferments for yeshiva students spiked in the 2000s but have dropped since, as Israel debates the role of charedim in society. JTA

Sources: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, American Jewish Year Book, Virtual Jewish Library, Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, Marvin Goldman, World Population Review, Hiddush-Freedom of Religious for Israel, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Hebrew University