Nation’s population closes in on 7.65 million as 5770 ends

CBS data released ahead of Rosh Hashana 5771 shows increase in Jewish, Christian birthrates, 28% of population under age of 14.

cute baby 311 (photo credit: courtesy)
cute baby 311
(photo credit: courtesy)
The nation’s population on the eve of Rosh Hashana 5771 stands at 7,645,500, surpassing the 7.5 million mark set last year, according to figures released Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
There are 5,770,900 Jews in Israel, or 75.5 percent of the population; Arabs represent 20.3%, or 1,559,000 people, and the remaining 315,500 (4.1%) are not registered as Jews or Arabs by the Interior Ministry.
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The growth rate of 1.8% a year has been consistent since 2003 and reflects a rate similar to that of the 1980s, before the mass aliya of Jews from the former Soviet Union began. During the 1990s, the population grew at roughly 3% a year, with more than 1 million immigrants arriving from Russian-speaking countries.
Over the past year, 14,572 olim arrived in Israel, an increase of 6% over the previous year. The majority of immigrants arrived from Russia (3,245), the US (2,474), and Ukraine (1,602), with 1558 from France. Just over 700 new immigrants were from the United Kingdom.
The Central Bureau of Statistics data show that 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 the age of 65, whereas in other Western countries the average is closer to 15%.
Some 161,042 babies were born in 2009, an increase of 2.6% over the previous year. The average Jewish family size grew from 2.8 children to 2.96. In the Muslim community, the average number of children was 3.73, a drop from the previous two years, when it had reached 3.84 in 2008 and 3.90 in 2007 respectively. Among Christian families the average number of children fell to 2.11 in 2009.
Women continue to outnumber the men, especially in the later years of life.
Overall, there are 979 men for every 1,000 women. In the under-37 set there are actually more men than women, but the imbalance in the over-75 age group offsets this, with some 673 men for every 1,000 women.
Marriages and divorce statistics were also reported Monday, with 56,038 couples registering to marry in 2009 – 75% Jews, 21% Muslim – and 13,488 couples divorcing, an increase over the year before.
Among those terminating their marriage, 84% were Jewish and only 9% Muslim. The average age for marriage stands at 27 for men and 24 for women.
In terms of demographic distribution, the majority of the Jewish population is concentrated in Jerusalem or the center of the country, including Tel Aviv, while 60% of the Arab population lives in the North.
In fact, while one-fifth of Israel’s population lives in the North, only 10% of those people are Jewish. In the South, the split falls in the opposite direction, with only 11% of the population Arabs, mostly Beduin.
As might be expected, there has been a steady rise in the number of Israelis who are native born. 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 70.7%.
When the state was established, there were only 806,000 residents. Israel reached its first million in 1949 and its second million in 1958.