Arad is a thriving town, founded in 1962 by a group of young Israelis, most of them ex-kibbutzniks and ex-moshavniks who were seeking an environment free of the urban ills of overcrowding, traffic, noise, and pollution. The town's growth has closely followed a well-designed master plan. Arad's present population is approximately 28,000 (2003 estimate) and reflects the broad spectrum of Israeli society. There are Ashkenazim and Sefaradim, secular and religious, Bedouins and Black Hebrews, native-born Israelis and new immigrants.
Arad is named after the Biblical town located at Tel Arad.