Number of Jews in Israel and worldwide on the rise - reports

Central Bureau of Statistics shows majority of Israelis are satisfied with their lives

September 27, 2019 09:38
2 minute read.
People wear kippas at a demonstration denouncing an antisemitism in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018

People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)

The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
The population includes 3.3 million immigrants, according to the CBS. Twenty-eight thousand people immigrated to the country in 2018.

“In the past year, tens of thousands of people have made aliyah with assistance from the Jewish Agency for Israel, along with tens of thousands of young Jews who visited Israel on educational programs such as Masa Israel Journey,” said Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog.

He said that the challenges the Jewish people in Israel and worldwide will face in the coming year include “combating antisemitism, which has risen dramatically over the past year, along with the continuation of efforts to connect young Jews around the world to Israel against the backdrop of the [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement.”

The number of Jews worldwide stands at 14.8 million, according to a separate report released on Thursday by the Jewish Agency. Of those, 5.7 million Jews live in the United States and 2.4 million in other countries in the Diaspora.

The second-largest Jewish community is in France with 450,000 Jews. There are also Jews living in Arab and Muslim states, including 15,000 in Turkey, around 8,000 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and another approximately 1,000 in Tunisia.

The updated estimates were published by Prof. Sergio Della Pergola of Hebrew University in the American Jewish Year Book 2019, and include those people who define themselves as Jews and do not identify with another religion.

In Israel, the CBS reported, there are 2.59 million households with an average of 3.28 people living in them.

Furthermore, 196,000 babies were born this year, putting Israel’s current fertility rate at an average of 3.09 kids per woman. In most OECD countries, the total fertility rate is between 1.4 and 1.9 children per woman, according to the OECD website.

Some 50,029 marriages took place this past Jewish year. Another 14,741 couples divorced.

Israelis are happy, the CBS showed. Eighty-nine percent of Israelis are satisfied with their quality of life, and 88% of Israelis are satisfied with their jobs.

The average earnings per household are NIS 20,027 gross.

When it comes to religion, the majority of Israelis are non-observant – 43% secular and 22% traditional. The rest of the population is divided between traditional-religious Jews (12.8%), religious (11.3%) and ultra-Orthodox (10%).

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