The Southern District (Hebrew: מחוז הדרום, Mehoz HaDarom; Arabic: لواء الجنوب) is one of Israel's six administrative districts, and is the largest in terms of land area as well as the most sparsely populated. It covers most of the Negev desert, as well as the Arava valley. The population of the Southern District is 1,086,240 and its area is 14,185 km2. It is 79.66% Jewish and 12.72% Arab (mostly Muslim) and 7.62% Others (mostly Russian Christians). The district capital is Beersheba, while the largest city is Ashdod. Beersheba's dormitory towns of Omer, Meitar, and Lehavim are all relatively affluent, while the development towns (including Sderot, Netivot, and Ofakim) and the seven Bedouin cities are lower on the socio-economic scale.
Cities, local councils, and regional councils