Population hits 7.8 million on eve of Jewish New Year

Israel experiences steady population growth of 1.9 percent, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

baby in cot 311 (photo credit: Illustrative photo)
baby in cot 311
(photo credit: Illustrative photo)
Israel’s population on the eve of the Jewish New Year 5772 stands at 7,797,400, continuing a steady population growth of 1.9 percent after surpassing the 7.5 million mark two years ago, according to figures released Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
In terms of ethnic divisions, Israel’s Jews now count for some 5,874,300 of the population; Arabs 1,600,100 people and the remaining 323,000 are those not registered as Jews or Arabs by the Interior Ministry.
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The steady growth rate of 1.9% each year has been consistent since 2003 and reflects a similar growth rate to that of the 1980s, prior to the mass aliya of Jews from the Former Soviet Union during the 1990s.
During that decade, the population’s growth rate was roughly 3% per year, with more than 1 million immigrants arriving from Russian-speaking countries.
The figures, which are based on those from 2010, show that during that year, 16,633 new olim arrived in Israel, an increase of 14% over the previous year. The majority of immigrants arrived from Russia (3,404), the US (2,530), France (1,775), Ukraine (1752) and Ethiopia (1,655).
The CBS statistics show that Israel is still a relatively young nation, 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 the age of 65 in Israel, whereas in other Western countries the average is closer to 15%.
Some 166,255 babies were born in 2010, an increase of 3.2% over the previous year, and pushing the average family size up from 2.9 children per household to 3.03.
In 2010, the average Jewish family size continued to grow and today stands at 2.97 children per woman, with Muslim women giving birth to roughly 3.75 children. The average age for childbirth in Israel in 2010 was 27.2 among Jewish women; this was slightly higher this year at 28.1, and lower among Arab women at 23.8.
Women in the State of Israel continue to slightly outweigh the number of men, especially in the more advanced years of life.
According to the figures published Monday, there are 979 men for every 1000 women, however in the under-29 set, there are more men than women.
Marriages and divorces are also reported among the statistics, with more than 48,997 couples registering to marry in 2009 – 76% Jews, 20% Muslim – and 13,233 couples divorcing, an increase over the year before. Among those terminating their marriage, 83% were Jewish and only 11% Muslim.
In terms of demographic distribution, the majority of the Jewish population is concentrated in Jerusalem or the center of the country, including Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, 60% of the Arab population lives in the North.
In fact, while one fifth of the general population lives in the North, only 14.5% 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.
According to the figures, the port city of Ashdod was the fastest-growing urban center in 2010, with an increase of 2% in its residents.
The statistics also showed that there has been a steady rise in the number of people born in the country. During the early years of the state, only 35% of the Jewish population had been born here, but by the end of 2008, that figure had increased to some 70.7%. Some 35.6% of the Jewish population was either born in Israel, or their fathers were born here.
When the state was established, there were only 806,000 residents, with this number reaching its first and second million in 1949 and 1958, respectively.