The number of immigrants to Israel remained virtually unchanged from 2004 to 2005, a report put out by the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Wednesday. Approximately 21,100 immigrants arrived in Israel in both years.
The number of immigrants from Argentina and the Ukraine declined drastically in the past year, while the number of immigrants from France rose by 25% in 2005. The numbers of immigrants have returned, the bureau said, to levels similar to those of the 1980's.
The increase in aliya rates that characterized the 90's was mostly due to massive immigration from the former Soviet Union, which has petered out slowly since the beginning of the decade.
11,200 - or 53 percent - of immigrants who arrived last year came from Europe, whereas 2,000 arrived from the United States.
Almost one-quarter of the immigrants were under the age of 14. The average age of US immigrants was 26.4, almost exactly two years younger than that of immigrants from the United Kingdom and France.
Immigrants from different countries of origin differed as to where they set up their first home in Israel. Former residents of Ethiopia, Argentina and the former Soviet states tended to settle in the south while English-speakers settled overwhelmingly in the Jerusalem area. For the first time ever, French immigrants settled in the central region.