As Israel prepares to ring in the Jewish New Year, the Central Bureau of Statistics released a report on Tuesday estimating its population on the eve of Rosh Hashana at 8.585 million.
According to the annual report, there are 6.419 million Jewish residents – 74.8 percent of the total population – and the Arab Israeli population stands at 1.786 million, or 20.8% of the country’s inhabitants.
The additional 4.4%, approximately 380,000 people, are non-Arab Christians or people of other religions, as well as those with no religious affiliation categorized as “other.”
According to the report the overall population grew in 2015 by 2%, or 172,000 people, as the Jewish population grew by 1.9%, the Arab population by 2.2%, and the "other" population group increased by 3.8%.
The population in Israel is considered a young population compared to other Western countries. In 2015 28.3% of the population was under the age of 14, while 11.1% of the population was aged 65 or older.
Despite this, the aging trend of the population continues to increase as in 2016 the median age stood at 29.8, compared to 27.7 in 2000. The report further indicated that the median age for men in 2015 stood at 28.7 while the median age for women stood at 30.9.
According to the statistics there are 983 men for every 1,000 women living in Israel, an upward trend from 974 men for every 1,000 women in 1995.
The report also indicated that among the Jewish population men and women are marrying at a later age. In 2014, 62.7% of men and 45.8% of women aged 25-29 were single, compared to 54% of men and 33.3% of women who were single in 2000.
In contrast, among the Muslim population, in 2012 47.1% of men and 19.4% of women aged 25-29 were single, compared to 35.7% of men and 23.2% of women in 2000. In 2014, the report found that 50,797 couples were married, of which 73% were Jewish couples and 23% were Muslim couples - among the highest marriage rates in the OECD. In contrast, 14,430 couples divorced during this year, 79% were Jewish couples and 15% were Muslim.
In 2015, 178,723 children were born - 1.3% more than were born in 2014. Of these children 74% were born to Jewish mothers while 23% were born to Arab mothers.
The report also found that the average age of a mother having her first child rose from 25.1 years old in 1994 to 27.6 years old in 2015. Furthermore, in 2015 the average woman in Israel has 3.09 children, compared to 3.08 children in 2014 and 3.8 children in the first half of the 1970s.
In breaking these figures down by sector, the findings indicated that Jewish women had an average of 3.13 children in 2015, compared to 3.28 children in the first half of the 1970s, while Muslim women had 3.32 children on average in 2015, compared to 8.47 children during the first half of the 1970s.
In 2015, 27,908 people made Aliya, an increase of 16% compared to 2014, and a rate of 3.3 olim for every 1,000 residents, the report found. The majority of new olim, 6,886 were from Ukraine, 6,632 from Russia, 6,628 from France and 2,451 from the United States.
The average age of a new immigrant in 2015 stood at 32.9 years old. As in previous years, there were more women making Aliya - 927 men for every 1,000 women.
The report also noted that at the end of 2015, approximately three-quarters of the Jews in Israel were Sabras – born in the country – and more than half were at least second-generation natives.
These figures indicate a drastic increase since the foundation of the state in 1948, when there were 806,000 Israelis, of whom 35% were native-born.
The report also indicated that some 34.1% of Israelis are of European-American origin, while 13.5% are from Africa and 10.1% are from Asia.
Some 40% of the total population of Israel, and roughly half of the Jewish population, live in the Center of the country, while nearly 60% of the Arab population lives in the North.
In 2015, the population in the Jerusalem district grew by some 2.3% to comprise 12.5% of the total population, 11.1% of which are Jewish and 19.1% Arab. However the highest growth rate recorded was in Judea and Samaria, standing at some 4.1%. In comparison the population of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area grew by only 1.4% to comprise 16.2% of the total population, of which 20.1% are Jewish and 1.1% Arab.
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