Israel's population dispersal plans and their implementation, 1949-1974: Failure or success?

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The successive population dispersal plans elaborated for the State of Israel since its establishment have met with only partial success in their implementation. While the country's population increased from under 900,000 in 1948 to about 3.25 million in 1972 (excluding the "administered" areas), the Tel Aviv and the Central Districts in the coastal plain have continued to hold their dominant position and to attract a major proportion of the new settlers. However, whereas the share of these districts in the country's total population in 1948 was 50.7%, it came down by 1972 to 46.6%, and this reduced share can largely be credited to the implementation of the dispersal plan. The district that has mainly benefited from the dispersal policy is the Southern District, which held in 1948 only 2.4% of the country's total population and increased its share by 1974 to 11.8%. (Of the Jewish population taken by itself, this share has reached 12.2%). Admittedly, these results have always diverged to a greater or lesser extent from the targets set in the various dispersal plans: while the coastal plain has grown beyond the planned limits, the outlying districts have always come short of the planned objectives. Conflicting government policies are partly to blame. Contrary to the population dispersal policy, the Government's investment policy in industries and housing has favored the coastal districts more than the development regions. The factors that have helped these outlying regions in their partial success were the economic attractions of their mineral resources and of sea-port developments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalGeo Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1977
Externally publishedYes


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