Gush Dan (Hebrew: גּוּשׁ דָּן, lit. "Dan bloc") or Tel Aviv metropolitan area is a conurbation in Israel, located along the country's Mediterranean coastline. There is no single formal definition of Gush Dan, though the term is in frequent use by both governmental bodies and the general public. It ranges from combining Tel Aviv with cities that form an urban continuum with it, to the entire areas from both the Tel Aviv District and the Central District, or sometimes the whole Metropolitan Area of Tel Aviv,[2] which includes a small part of the Southern District as well. Gush Dan is the largest conurbation and metropolitan area in Israel, with the metropolitan area having an estimated population of 4,156,900 residents, 89% of whom are Israeli Jews.

Gush Dan
גוש דן (Hebrew) غوش دان (Arabic)
From top left: Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Bat Yam, Netanya, Ashdod, Rishon LeZion, Southern Suburbs of Tel Aviv.
From top left: Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Bat Yam, Netanya, Ashdod, Rishon LeZion, Southern Suburbs of Tel Aviv.
Dan Bloc (Gush Dan in Hebrew)
Coordinates: 32°2′N 34°46′E / 32.033°N 34.767°E / 32.033; 34.767
Country Israel
Metropolitan AreaGush Dan
 • Total1,516 km2 (585 sq mi)
 (31 December 2021)[1][2]
 • Total4,156,900
44% of Israel's population
 • Metro density2,291/km2 (5,930/sq mi)
 Israeli Jews: 89.2%
Israeli Arabs: 5.2%
Others: 5.6%
 • TotalUS$310 billion
59% of Israel's GDP (2022)
Time zoneUTC+2 (IST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (IDT)
Postal code
Area code+972 (Israel)

History edit

Historical population
1946 343,000—    
1956 845,000+146.4%
1966 1,291,000+52.8%
1976 1,661,000+28.7%
1986 2,036,000+22.6%
1996 2,547,000+25.1%
2006 3,098,000+21.6%
2016 3,854,000+24.4%
Source: [5][6][7]

The name Gush Dan means "Dan Bloc", and is so named because the area was the territory of the tribe of Dan in the ancient Kingdom of Israel. According to the biblical narrative, the tribe had originally tried to settle in the central coastal area of Canaan, but enmity with the Philistines, who had already settled there, caused it to be able to camp only in the hill country overlooking the Sorek Valley. The camp location became known as Mahaneh Dan ("Camps of Dan"). The region that they attempted to settle included the area as far north as Joppa and as far south as Shephelah in the area of Timnah. As a result of the pressure from the Philistines, the tribe abandoned hopes of settling near the central coast and instead migrated to the north of the country. After conquering Laish, the tribe refounded it as its capital and renamed it Dan. In remembrance of the original territory assignments, the coastal region is referred to as Gush Dan. The modern city of Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 as a suburb of the Arab-majority coastal city of Jaffa.[9]

The city of Tel Aviv grew rapidly in the ensuing decades by Jewish immigration from Europe, with its population reaching 150,000 in 1934, and 230,000 when Israel gained its independence in 1948. Before the establishment of Israel, other towns in the Gush Dan were founded as well, such as Petah Tikva in 1878, Rishon LeZion in 1882, Ness Ziona in 1883, Rehovot in 1890, and most other Gush Dan cities were established before 1948.

In 1947, the Jewish population of the Gush Dan was nearly 400,000 and was the majority of the Jewish population of Mandatory Palestine. As such, almost all of it was included in the Jewish state proposed by the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. After the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the Arab population of the region, which had been nearly 150,000 before the war,[9] was reduced to around 10,000. They were quickly replaced by a larger number of Jews fleeing from postwar Europe and persecution in Arab countries.

However, many new immigrants did not then come to Tel Aviv. In the 1950s, towns were built on the edges of the Gush Dan, including Ashdod, Rosh HaAyin and Yavne. The nation's sole port was then located in the northern city of Haifa and its evolving metropolitan area, making that city at least as important as Tel Aviv. The new government was then trying to disperse the nation's population to the periphery and discouraged settlement in the already-populated Gush Dan. That slowed the growth of the Gush Dan, but the area still more than doubled in population within 20 years of the establishment of Israel. The opening of the Port of Ashdod in the southern Gush Dan also increased the area's importance, with the importance of Haifa diminishing and that of Tel Aviv increasing because of its proximity. Tel Aviv itself witnessed population decreases in the 1970s and 1980s, when outer regions of the Gush Dan with lower costs of living absorbed many of the people who had left Tel Aviv.

Only in the 1990s, with the immigration of more than 1 million Jews from former Soviet Republics, 40,000 Ethiopian Jews, and many others to Israel, as well as a boom in the religious population, would Tel Aviv begin to grow again. The demand for housing increased dramatically, with new cities such as Modiin and El'ad being built, and cities like Ashdod more than doubling in population, from 83,000 in 1990, to 175,000 in 2000. In the 2000s, the area continued to grow, attracting many immigrants from the Haifa metropolitan area. With a population of 4,052,200 people as of 2019,[10] Gush Dan is home to the commercial, economical, cultural, and industrial center of Israel.

Despite some successes in ongoing attempts by the Israeli government to encourage migration to the Galilee and the Negev, Gush Dan retains its position as the heart of Israel.

Cities in Gush Dan edit

Population in cities as of the end of 2021:[11]

Over 400,000
Over 200,000
Over 100,000
Over 50,000
Over 20,000
Over 10,000

Metropolitan rings edit

Israel Central Bureau of Statistics divides the Tel Aviv metropolitan area into four:

Metropolitan rings in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area[12]
Metropolitan ring Localities Population (EOY 2018 estimate) Population density
(per km²)
Annual Population
growth rate
Total Jews and others1 Thereof: Jews Arabs
Core2 1 451,500 431,100 407,200 20,400 8,718.6 1.7%
Inner Ring3 13 975,600 973,700 911,900 2,000 8,097 1.4%
  Northern Section 4 144,300 144,100 138,800 200 3,327.4 1.3%
  Eastern Section 5 495,100 494,400 479,600 700 12,394.3 1.9%
  Southern Section 4 336,300 335,200 293,500 1,100 9,042.2 0.6%
Middle Ring4 31 1,219,800 1,177,300 1,108,100 42,500 4,157.4 1.6%
  Northern Section 6 239,500 239,200 232,300 300 4,567.4 1.3%
  Eastern Section 8 325,700 325,300 304,400 400 4,558.6 1.7%
  Southern Section 17 654,500 612,800 571,500 41,800 3,861.5 1.7%
Outer Ring5 258 1,338,000 1,200,200 1,140,700 137,800 1,052.9 2%
  Northern Section 97 497,100 397,300 375,100 99,800 1,284.9 1.3%
  Eastern Section 47 294,700 258,000 254,200 36,700 1,056.4 3.3%
  Southern Section 91 453,300 452,600 424,200 700 877.3 1.4%
Judea and Samaria Section6 23 93,000 92,300 87,200 600 4.3%
Total 303 3,984,900 3,782,300 3,567,900 202,700 2,361.4 1.7%

Business and commercial districts edit

Diamond Exchange District
Azrieli Center
Towers on Rothschild Boulevard
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (old building)
Herzliya Pituah strip from the Marina
  • Diamond Exchange DistrictRamat Gan – The Diamond Exchange District is in the city of Ramat Gan. Bordering the Ayalon Highway, the road dividing Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv, the district is home to Israel's diamond industry as well as being a major commercial center. The Diamond Exchange itself contains four buildings (towers) connected by bridges; the Maccabi Tower, Shimshon Tower, Noam Tower, and Diamond Tower, which contains the world's largest diamond trading floor and is the main building of the Diamond Exchange. The district also has a number of other important buildings. The Moshe Aviv Tower is Israel's second tallest (and formerly its tallest) building at 244 meters. Opposite, the Elite Tower is currently under construction and is set to be equal or greater in height to the Moshe Aviv Tower. The Sheraton City Tower is a hotel in the district, whilst other notable buildings are the Ayalon Tower and Gibor Sport House.
  • Dizengoff Square – Tel Aviv – Dizengoff Center (Hebrew: דיזנגוף סנטר) is a shopping mall in central Tel Aviv, host to about 140,000 visitors weekly. Lying south of Dizengoff Square, it is named for Meir Dizengoff, the first mayor of Tel Aviv. The first mall in Tel Aviv, the center opened in 1983. It is divided into two parts and straddles both sides of Dizengoff Street with the two parts linked by a pair of skywalks. The mall is bordered by Dizengoff Street, King George Street and the smaller Tchernichovsky street.
  • Port of AshdodAshdod – The Port of Ashdod is one of Israel's two main cargo ports. The port is located in Ashdod, about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, adjoining the mouth of the Lachish River. Its establishment doubled the country's port capacity.
  • Rothschild Boulevard – Tel Aviv – Rothschild Boulevard (Hebrew: שְׂדֵרוֹת רוטשילד, Sderot Rothschild) is a street in Tel Aviv beginning in Neve Tzedek at its southwestern edge and running north to Habima Theatre. It is one of the busiest and most expensive streets in the Gush Dan, being one of the city's main tourist attractions.[14]
  • Azrieli Center – Tel Aviv – Azrieli Center is a complex of skyscrapers in Tel Aviv. At the base of the center lies a large shopping mall. The center was originally designed by Israeli-American architect Eli Attia, and after he fell out with the developer of the center David Azrieli (after whom it is named), completion of the design was passed on to the Tel Aviv firm of Moore Yaski Sivan Architects.
  • Tel Aviv Stock Exchange – Tel Aviv – The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE; Hebrew: הבורסה לניירות ערך בתל אביב; colloquially known as the Boursa) is Israel's only stock exchange. The TASE is the only public market for trading securities in Israel. It plays a major role in the Israeli economy. TASE lists some 622 companies, about 60 of which are also listed on stock exchanges in other countries. TASE also lists some 180 exchange-traded funds (ETFs), 60 government bonds, 500 corporate bonds, and more than 1000 mutual funds. 29 companies are members of the TASE, of which 14 are banks. The list of members indicates that Altshuler Shaham Ltd is a candidate for membership.
  • Tel Aviv Promenade – Tel Aviv – The Tel Aviv promenade runs along its beaches, and is an integral part of the city's lifestyle, as well as a major tourist attraction. Most of the city's bathing beaches and hiking paths are concentrated in the central part of its 14 kilometers of Mediterranean shore. It contains numerous hotels and commercial buildings.
  • Kiryat Atidim – Tel Aviv – high tech center in eastern Ramat HaHayal. The district is known for its ultra modern architecture.
  • Bat Yam coastal strip – Bat Yam - southward extension of the Tel Aviv Promenade
  • Herzliya Pituah coastal strip and industrial area – Herzliya – northward extension of the Tel Aviv Promenade
  • Kiryat Aryeh, Kiryat Matalon, and Segula Industrial Zones – (These three form the second largest industrial zone in the country after Haifa) – Petah Tikva
  • Ben Gurion Airport Industrial Zone – Lod
  • Eastern Industrial Sector – Holon
  • Eastern Industrial Zones – Netanya
  • Poleg industrial area – Netanya

Higher education edit

Tel Aviv University
Open University of Israel
Weizmann Institute of Science

Shopping centers edit

A view from the sixth floor of the mall at Tel Aviv Central Bus Station
Carmel Market
G Cinema City in Rishon LeZion

Transportation edit

Ayalon Highway separates Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan
Ben Gurion International Airport

The Dan Bus Company is primarily focused on serving the Gush Dan, although it is being replaced by the Kavim company in many of the Gush Dan's cities. Much of Israel's national highway network feeds into the area, such as Highway 1, Highway 2, Highway 4, and Highway 5. Gush Dan is also served by the local Ayalon Highway. Israel Railways, the state owned, national rail network provider, also feeds most traffic into or within the Gush Dan region. The Tel Aviv Light Rail is also a major feature in the regions transport, as well as the high speed service to Jerusalem. Two airports are located in the Gush Dan; Sde Dov Airport which closed at 2019,[17] and Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod which is Israel's largest airport handles over 22 million passengers a year and offers flights to destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia, and The Americas. The Tel Aviv Metro is a planned subway system to the region which will feature three lines, with the first public opening planned in 2032.

Highways edit

Some of the major freeways/expressways carrying commuter traffic in and out of the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area are:

Panoramas edit

Skyline of Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Bnei Brak, and Herzliyya taken from the Azrieli Center
Skyline of Tel Aviv taken from the Azrieli Center
Skyline of Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Holon, Givatayim, and Ramat Gan taken from the Azrieli Center
Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, looking from Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv panorama

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ LOCALITIES, POPULATION AND DENSITY PER SQ. KM. OF LAND, BY METROPOLITAN AREA(1) AND SELECTED LOCALITIES (PDF) (Report). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2022. Retrieved April 15, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Localities, Population, and Density" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  3. ^ "Instead of talking about national economy, we should talk about cities".
  4. ^ "World Economic Outlook database: October 2023".
  5. ^ "Population of Israel on the Eve of 2018 - 8.8 Million". Press Release. Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 31 December 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Population, by Population Group". Statistical Abstract of Israel. Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 11 September 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Monthly Bulletin of Statistics for Population". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  8. ^ Census data [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Tel Aviv-Yafo-Statistical Overview". Archived from the original on 2014-09-13. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  10. ^ Map [dead link]
  11. ^ "Regional Statistics". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 21 March 2024.
  12. ^ "Localities, Population and Density Per sq. km., by Metropolitan Area and Selected Localities" (PDF). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. September 26, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  13. ^ "The Geneva Convention". BBC News. 10 December 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2010.
  14. ^ Mirovsky, Arik. "For a prestigious address, nothing beats Rothschild". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 2009-06-21. Retrieved 2006-10-08.
  15. ^ "Tel Aviv University ranked first in Israel by QS World University Ranking". The Jerusalem Post | 2023-07-02. Retrieved 2024-03-24.
  16. ^ "Something went wrong..." Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  17. ^ "Sde Dov Airport closes". Globes (in Hebrew). 2019-06-30. Retrieved 2020-07-06.

External links edit