The Immigrant Absorption Ministry and the Jewish Agency for Israel reported Tuesday that 2010 had seen a sharp rise in new immigrants, with more than 19,000 people from places as diverse as Venezuela, Malta, Japan, and Rwanda choosing to make aliya.
The two official bodies, which work together to facilitate aliya and make the immigration process as smooth as possible, reported that the increase was as much as 16 percent, compared to the figures from the previous year. This is the second year in a row that aliya has seen a steady rise.
According to the figures, Jerusalem was the most popular city for new immigrants to make their home and the oldest person to arrive here was 99.
While South America saw the biggest increase in aliya, the majority of the new immigrants – some 40% -- came from the Former Soviet Union. Despite former soviet states and Eastern European countries seeing an economic upturn this past year, JAFI and the ministry said that the increase of new immigrants was 8%, with roughly 1000 people arriving from the Russian capital of Moscow.