ISRAEL: The Gay Capital of the World

ISRAEL (West Asia)

Population:  7.59 million

44% of the population is under the age of 24.

The Israeli Jewish population makes up 75% of the population, while the Arabs consist 21% of the population.

Fertility Rate:  3.8 children/woman (1970) vs. 2.9 children/woman (2010)

Life Expectancy:  72 years (1970) vs. 81 years (2010)

Infant mortality: 4.07 deaths/1,000 live births

Male/Female Ratio:  1.01 male / female

Major Religions: Judaism, Islam

-Israel was the first country in Asia where homosexuals were protected by anti-discrimination laws and remains the only country in the Middle East to support gay rights legislation. 

– The country is among the most liberal states in the world when it comes to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.  It has an active gay community, with well attended annual gay pride festivals which started in 1998.  Tel Aviv in Israel is considered the most gay-friendly city in the world.  

– Same-sex couples in Israel enjoy most of the rights of married couples, as do unmarried heterosexual couples.  The law allows married same-sex couples the same tax breaks as opposite-sex married couples, as well as the legal right to adopt children.

– The country also has one of the highest percentages of support for same-sex marriage in the world, with 61% of Israelis supporting civil marriage for same-sex couples.  However, same-sex marriage has yet to be legalized.

– In 1971 the chance of a 35-year-old woman in Israel being unmarried was 1 in 40.   Today, at least one in four women of that age is unattached. The situation is the same with men.  35% of Israeli women between the ages of 35-49 are “seeking” a partner. For men, 42% between the ages of 35-39 are in this category.

– Birth control pills are a popular method of contraception in Israel, used by about a quarter of Israeli women (23%).  About 56% of sales made from modern contraceptives were from the sale of pills, with about 3 million packets sold here annually.   The second most popular birth control used is the condom, then the IUD. 

– It was only in 2010 that the Civil Union Law was approved to allow couples to marry in civil ceremonies.  This applies only to couples who have no legal affiliation with an organized religion.  Before 2010, all Israeli marriages had to be performed as religious unions in order to be recognized by the state. Jews, Muslims, Christians and others wishing to marry first had to register with their respective religious authorities.

– Around a third of the estimated 15,000 people engaged in prostitution in Israel are teenagers.  In addition, the Social Affairs Ministry estimates that at least 90 percent of Israel’s female sex workers are controlled by pimps, and on average they begin working as prostitutes between the ages of 12 and 14.

– In 2007, about one million visits per month were made to organized sex trade establishments, with each woman seeing an average of 10 customers a day. According to police, in the Tel Aviv area alone between 250 and 400 apartments are used for prostitution.

– Israel’s first documented case of HIV/AIDS was in 1981 and from then through 2010 a total of 6,552 new cases have been diagnosed.  As of December 2010, the Israeli Ministry of Health estimates that there were 5,262 HIV carriers and 494 AIDS patients living in Israel.   The rate of HIV/AIDS in Israel is 52.8 cases per million residents.


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