The country’s population now stands at 7,695,000, according to figures released
on Wednesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics, ahead of the start of the new
civil year on Saturday.
Israel’s Jews now number some 5,802,000 or 75.4
percent of the total. Arabs are 20.4% of the population, or 1,573,000 people,
and the remaining 320,000, or 4.2%, are not registered as either by the Interior
Ministry’s Population and Immigration Authority.
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Overall, the numbers
show a steady growth rate of 1.9%, or a net increase of 143,000 people, over the
past year – a rise that has been consistent since 2003 and reflects a growth
rate similar to that of the 1980s, before the mass aliya from the former Soviet
Union during the 1990s.
Most of the growth (88%) was the result of
natural increase – births offset by deaths. Other new arrivals included
immigrants (19,000) and the foreignborn children of returning Israelis (6,000).
An additional 4,000 people came to Israel under a special government program
that unites non-Jewish relatives with their families here.
CBS statistics released three months ago, Israel is still a fairly young
country, with 28% of its population under the age of 14, compared to 17% in most
other Western countries.
Only 10% of the population is over 65, while in
other Western countries, that average is closer to 15%.
Jewish family still hovers at between 2.8 and 2.9 children. In the Muslim
community, the average number of children per mother is 3.73, and among
Christians, it’s 2.1.
The majority of the Jewish population is
concentrated in Jerusalem or the Center of the country, including Tel Aviv, and
60% of the Arab population lives in the North.
In fact, the CBS data show
that while one-fifth of the general population lives in the North, only half of
those people are Jewish. In the South, the split falls in the opposite
direction, with only 11% of the population there being Arabs, mostly Beduin.
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