The nation’s population is on track to reach 11.4 million by 2035, with 4.7 million babies expected to be born in the next two-and-a-half decades, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday.

CBS published its projections on ethnic and religious demographics, overall fertility rate, life expectancy, and age demographics.

The intermediate projection estimates that after slightly narrowing, the demographic balance between Jews and Arabs will stabilize within the next few decades.

The Jewish population is expected to grow to 8.3 million, or 73 percent of the total in 2035; the Arab population is expected to grow to 2.6 million, or 23%; with members of other groups comprising 500,000, or 4% of the population.

The CBS projects the Muslim population will grow to 2.3 million, growing at a higher rate than the Druse and Christian minorities. However, the Druse population is expected to outstrip the Arab Christian population within the next few decades. CBS projects a Druse population of 185,000 in 2035, and an Arab Christian population of 152,000.

In addition, the CBS estimates that the overall fertility rate, which measures the number of children born to the average woman, is expected to decline modestly from 2.94 at present to 2.75 in 2035. The rate for Jews is projected to increase from 2.99 to 3.04, while the rate for Muslims is projected to decline from 3.37 to 2.71. Arab Christian and Druse fertility is projected to hold roughly steady.

Despite the decline in the total fertility rate, Israel is likely to remain exceptionally fertile.

Citing UN estimates, the CBS estimates that the 2035 total fertility rate will hold steady above the developed world’s average of 1.82, and will outstrip all neighboring Arab states – the most fertile of which, Jordan, has a projected 2035 figure of 2.41.

As a result of declining fertility, Israel’s annual population growth rate by 2035 is projected to decline to 1.4% from the current rate of 1.9%. However, the sharper decline in immigration means that 94% of growth between 2010 and 2035 will be the result of natural increase, as opposed to 89% for the years 2006 to 2010.

Moreover, CBS projections suggest that Israel’s already high life expectancy is set to increase across all sectors by 2035. In 22 years, the average Jewish female born in Israel may expect to live 89.5 years, as opposed to 86.3 for Arab females, 84.8 for Jewish males, and 81.6 for Arab males.

And while the CBS expects that 4.7 million Israelis will be born between 2010 and 2035, the rise in life expectancy across all sectors means that the Israel of 2035 will be a demographically older country than today. The CBS estimates that by 2035, there will be 1.7 million Israelis aged 65 years and older, or 14.6% percent of the population. Israel is set to remain young by comparison to the rest of the developed world, a quarter of whose population will be 65 and older by 2035.

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