It is the administrative center for the southern region and home of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Soroka Hospital, and the Beer-Sheva Symphonietta.
The city dates back at least to the time of Abraham. The town center has streets in a grid-like pattern and was built by the Germans when the area was ruled by the Ottoman Empire. The city has expanded considerably since 1948 and is inhabited mainly by people who originally immigrated to Israel from Arab countries and the former Soviet Union. Many Bedouin live in towns and encampments in the area.
from "Beer Sheva"
According to CBS, in 2001 the ethnic makeup of the city was 98.9% Jewish and other non-Arab, with no significant Arab population. There are 2,339 immigrant settlers. See Population groups in Israel.
According to CBS, in 2001 there were 86,500 males and 91,400 females. The population of the city was spread out with 31.8% 19 years of age or younger, 17.4% between 20 and 29, 19.6% between 30 and 44, 15.8% from 45 to 59, 4.0% from 60 to 64, and 11.4% 65 years of age or older. The population growth rate in 2001 was 2.9%.
According to CBS, as of 2000, in the city there were 61,016 salaried workers and 3,010 are self-employed. The mean monthly wage in 2000 for a salaried worker in the city is ILS 5,223, a real change of 5.3% over the course of 2000. Salaried males have a mean monthly wage of ILS 6,661 (a real change of 5.2%) versus ILS 3,760 for females (a real change of 3.9%). The mean income for the self-employed is 6,533. There are 4,719 people who receive unemployment benefits and 26,469 people who receive an income guarantee.
According to CBS, there are 81 schools and 33,623 students in the city. They are spread out as 60 elementary schools and 17,211 elementary school students, and 39 high schools and 16,412 high school students. 52.7% of 12th grade students were entitled to a matriculation certificate in 2001.