The Facts of Israel’s Population

Although millions of people, both friends and enemies, pay a lot of attention to the State of Israel, many of them do not know much about the actual demographics of the state. 

Israel’s population now stands at 8,680,000 and is increasing at 1.9 percent a year, according to figures released April 27, 2017 by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Over the past 12 months some 174,000 babies were born, 44,000 people died and 30,000 new immigrants arrived in the country. Thus immigrants made up only 15 per cent of the State of Israel’s population increase in the last year.

In 1948, there were just 806,000 people in Israel, less than a tenth of the current number. At the time, the global Jewish population was 11.5 million (down from 17-18 million pre-WW2), and just 6 per cent were in Israel. There are now estimated to be 14.4 million Jewish people in the world and 43 per cent of them are in Israel.

The 6,484,000 Jews in the country make up 74.4 per cent of all residents, while the 1,800,000 Arabs account for 20.8 per cent of Israel’s population, a percentage that has remained stable for almost 70 years. Christians and other ethnic groups like the Druze number 388,000 people, or 4.4 per cent of the population.

Among today’s Jewish population, 75 per cent were born in Israel, and over half are second-generation Israelis. In 1948, however, just 35 per cent of the Jews living in Israel were born in pre-state Palestine.

Whereas in 1949 the life expectancy for women in Israel was 67.6 years and 64.9 for men, by the end of 2015 it was 84.5 for women and 80.9 for men. Just over half of the population, 54.3 per cent, are between the ages of 19 and 64. The over-65 set makes up 11.1 per cent of the population, and those 18 years old or less are 34.6 per cent. At the end of 2015 there were 45,000 residents over the age of 90, the CBS noted.

Of Israel’s Jews, 44 per cent, consider themselves secular, 36 per cent would be considered Reform/Liberal and Conservative in the USA, 11 per cent are Orthodox, and 9 per cent are ultra-Orthodox.

Among the non-Jewish population, 52 per cent see themselves as religious, 21 per cent are secular, 23 per cent somewhat religious, and 4 per cent very religious.

Rabbi Maller’s website is:

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