Israel’s population has almost cracked the 10 million mark, which is 12 times more than when the state was founded in 1948. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, some 9,727,000 people today live in Israel. Of these, 7,145,000 are Jews (73.5 percent), 2,048,000 are Arabs (21 percent) and 534,000 belong to other minorities (5.5 percent).
Since last year, the population has grown by 216,000 people, which is an increase of 2.3 percent. Over 183,000 babies were born and 79,000 new immigrants arrived in the country, while 51,000 people passed away. More than a quarter of Israelis (28 percent) are children aged 14 or younger, while 12 percent are over 65 years of age.
When the state was founded on May 14, 1948, the country’s population was 806,000, meaning it has grown 12-fold over the decades. In the intervening years, 3.3 million new immigrants have come to the country. Almost half of them (43 percent – 1.5 million) arrived since 1990. By the way, who are the half million citizens who are defined as “other” minorities? Most are immigrants from the former Soviet Union who have some Jewish ancestry but are not considered Jews according to Halacha (Jewish religious law) because their mother is not Jewish, although in the Bible it was reversed. This is a contentious point in Jewish society.
Israel’s ultra-Orthodox population is expected to account for 16 percent of the country’s total population by 2030, according to a new report by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI). The IDI published this in its seventh annual report on ultra-Orthodox society, which shows recent trends in the Orthodox community in regards to lifestyle, living standards, employment, education, social mobility and leisure. According to the report, the ultra-Orthodox population in Israel currently stands at around 1,280,000 people and is the fastest growing sector in Israel, with a growth rate of 4 percent. The two main cities where Orthodox Jews live are Jerusalem and Bnei Brak.
“Contrary to what the demographic establishment predicted in the late 19th century and into the 1940s, the Jewish birth rate in Israel is higher than that of any Muslim country except Iraq and Muslim sub-Saharan Africa,” noted Yoram Ettinger, a former ambassador and security expert. “Based on the most recent data, the Jewish fertility rate of 3.13 births per woman is higher than the Arab rate of 2.85 (as of 2016) and the Arab-Muslim fertility rate of 3.01 (as of 2020).”
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the number of Israeli-Jewish births in 2022 (137,566) was 71% higher than in 1995 (80,400), while the number of Israeli-Arab births in 2022 (43,417) was only 19% higher than 1995 (36,500). In 1969, the Arab birth rate in Israel was six births higher than the Jewish rate. In 2015, both fertility rates were 3.13 births per woman, reflecting the dramatic Westernization of Arab demographics.
The CBS estimates that the population of Israel will be 11.1 million in 2030, 13.2 million in 2040 and 15.2 million in 2048, when the country celebrates its 100th anniversary.
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