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Israel's population just shy of 8 million

April 25, 2012 09:45

Central Bureau of Statistics census: 75.3 percent of population Jewish, 160,000 babies born, 19,000 olim make Israel home.

Shadow of couple on Israeli flag [file]

Shadow of couple on Israeli flag 370. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem)

The population in Israel has mushroomed from 806,000 in 1948 - the year of the Jewish state's establishment - to 7.9 million people in 2012, the Central Bureau for Statistics revealed in a population survey released Wednesday.

Of the nearly eight million people living in Israel, 5.9 million of them are Jews, and 1.6 million are Arabs, the census - which CBS released ahead of Independence Day - showed. Israel's population, therefore, breaks down to 75.3 percent Jewish, and 20.6% Arab.

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People that do not define themselves as Jewish or Arab - such as immigrants from the former USSR that do not define themselves as Jewish - make up 4.1% of the population, at 327,000 inhabitants.

Some 160,000 babies were born in the country since last Independence Day, the census revealed. In addition, some 19,000 new immigrants arrived in Israel this past year, while 8,000 Israelis chose to leave the country. 39,000 people passed away this past year.

While Tel Aviv was the only city at the time of Israel's establishment that had more than 100,000 residents, today 14 Israeli cities have passed that threshold. Six cities in the country - Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Petah Tikva - have more than 200,000 residents.
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