Demographic report: Israel has 7.2 m. residents

75% of population are Jews; 18,000 olim arrived in 2007, less than in recent years; 150,000 babies born.

bloom graph 88 298 (photo credit: Bloomberg)
bloom graph 88 298
(photo credit: Bloomberg)
As 2008 is set to begin, Israel is a country of 7.241 million residents, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced in its annual demographic report. Of this figure, 75.6 percent are Jewish (5.472 million), 20% are Arab (1.449 million) and 4.4% (320,000) are 'others' - immigrants who are not registered as Jews in the Interior Ministry, non-Arab Christians and residents without religious classification. During 2007, Israel's population increased by 1.7%, just one decimal point less than the population increase noted at the end of 2006. 18,000 immigrants arrived this year, and 149,400 babies were born. Overall, 124,000 residents were added to the country's population during the year. Eighty-eight percent of this figure were a result of natural growth (births minus deaths), and the remaining 12% from the immigration factor - the gap between the number of immigrants and the number of emigrants. Aliya this year maintained the decreasing trend it has seen in recent years, falling below the 19,000 new immigrants in 2006. The immigration figures do not include Israeli citizens who spent long periods abroad and have returned to Israel in 2007.