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Vital Statistics: Latest Population Statistics for Israel

On Israel's 70th birthday in April 2018, Israel's population stood at a record 8,842,000.  This is a more than 10-fold increase compared to when Israel was founded in 1948.  

Diversity & Growth

The Jewish population makes up 6,589,000 (74.5%); 1,849,000 (20.9%) are Arabs; and, those identified as "others" (non-Arab Christians, Baha'i, etc) make up 4.6% of the population (404,000 people). When the state was established, there were only 806,000 residents and the total population reached its first and second millions in 1949 and 1958 respectively. Judging by current population trend data, experts predict that the population of Israel will reach 10 million by 2025 or sooner.

In addition to these numbers, there are approximately 169,000 people living in Israel who are neither citizens nor permanent residents.  

The overall population grew by 1.9%, (163,000) between Israeli Independence day 2017 and 2018. 

Out of the 14.3 million Jewish people in the world, 43% reside in Israel. 

Israel is the 99th most populous country in the world, not including the over 250,000 illegal foreign workers and African migrants residing in Israel. 

Of Israeli Jews, 44% self-identify as secular, 11% simply as religious, and 9% as ultra-Orthodox. According to the Israel Democracy Institute, the percentage of ultra-Orthodox is slightly higher.

 

Ultra-Orthodox Jews As Percentage of Population

(thousands)

  2009 2014 2017
  Number % of Total Number % of Total Number % of Total
Ultra-Orthodox 750 10% 911 11% 1,033 12%
Other Jews 5,267 70% 5,560 68% 5,921 67%
Arab Israelis 1,536 20% 1,713 21% 1,835 21%
             
Total 7,553   8,184   8,789  
Source: Israel Democracy Institute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immigration & Naturalization

Israel welcomed approximately 37,000 new immigrants during 2018, with the most immigrants arriving in Israel from Russia (27%), the Ukraine (25%), France (13%), and the United States (10%). 

The Gallup Migrant Acceptance Index ranked Israel as one of the least accepting countries for migrants in it's 2017 report.  Israel scored a 1.87 out of nine possible points, making it one of the eight least accepting countries to migrants in the world.  

In 2017, 75% of the total Jewish population were "Sabras" - born in Israel - compared with just a 35% native-born population at Israel's independence in 1948. Over half of the Jewish population are Israeli-born to at least one parent who was also Israeli-born.

Those of European and American ancestry make up about 2.2 million (36%) of the Jewish population in Israel while Africans fill out another 14.5% and Asians are 11.2%.

A study performed by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that one in four Jewish individuals currently live in a country other than the one they were born in.  In contrast, one in twenty Christians and one in twenty five Muslims live in a country other than that of their birth.  This makes Jewish individuals the world's top migrants. 

A Young Population

Israel's population is considered young relative to the populations of other Western countries.

177,000 babies were born and 41,000 people died in Israel between April 2017 and April 2018.

28% of the population was aged 0-14 while only 10.3% were older than 65 years of age. OECD average is 18.5% (0-14) and 15% (65+). Israel's average age, however, is getting older.  In 2011, the average age was 29.5 years as opposed to 27.6 in the year 2000. Average age worldwide for males is 28.4 and for women is 30.6 years old.  Life expectancy for Israelis is 80.9 years for men, and 84.5 years for women.  

The World Health Organization issued a new report in May 2016 that concluded humans were on average living 5 years longer than they were 16 years prior, in 2000. Israel was ranked as the country with the 8th highest life expectancy in the world on the list, scoring above the United States, Canada, France, Russia, and other highly developed nations.

A study published by the World Health Organization in the medical journal Lancet ranked Israel 6th out of 188 countries in global healthy life expectancy in September 2015. This “healthy life expectancy” number takes into account the average life expectancy, as well as years of life without a terminal disease.

Life expectancy in 2018 was 80.6 years for men and 84.2 years for women.  This life expectancy continues an upward trend of the last decade, and the Israeli life expectancy is higher than the OECD average.

Distribution

Israel's population density in 2017 was reported as 373.2 people per km2. By comparison, Slovenia (who's territory is roughly the same size as Israel's) has a population density of 102 people per km2; Belgium (slightly larger than Israel) has a density of 364 people per km2.

Tel Aviv is Israel's densest region with 7,522 people per km2; Jerusalem has a density of 1,484 people per km2 and Bnei Brak is Israel's densest city with 22,145 people per km2.

The most popular cities for new immigrants to settle down in during 2014 were Tel Aviv and Netanya, with 3,275, and 3,102 new immigrants settling there, respectively.

2013 saw negative migration from Israel's largest cities, as people migrated to the suburbs and the surrounding hills.  The greater Tel Aviv area lost 7,700 residents with the city itself losing 1,900.  Jerusalem suffered a population loss of 7,400, while outlying areas such as Rehovot, Petah Tikva, Lod, and Modi'in experienced a net population increase.  Petah Tikva experienced the largest population increase, with 3,100 individuals.  Haifa and the West Bank reported total gains of 2,800 individuals as well. 

Just under half of the Jewish population lives in the center of the country, either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv metropolitan areas.  60% of the Arab population lives in the north.

Jerusalem is Israel's largest city, with a population of 865,700.  

Israel's male to female population ratio is 982 : 1,000.

Israel has 15 cities that are home to over 100,000 people.  

Birth, Marriage & Divorce

The average age for an Israeli woman to be married in 2016 was 26.1 years old, and the average age for an Israeli woman to have her first child was 28.3.  Teen births are uncommon in Israel, with births to women aged 19 and under accounting for 0.5% of national births during 2016.  

177,000 babies were born and 41,000 people died in Israel between April 2017 and April 2018.  

Israel has the highest birth rate in the developed world, with an average of 3.11 children per woman.  The distant runner-up is Mexico, with only 2.2 children per woman.  The average fertility rate for countries like France, the U.S., Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands is less than two children per woman.  The birth rates for Jewish and Arab Israeli women were identical (3.13 children per woman) for the first time in history during 2015.


Sources: Central Bureau of Statistics (December 2013; April 2013; September 2012);
Omri Efraim. “Rosh Hashana Eve: 8.081 million Israelis,” YNet News (September 3, 2013);
Zeev Klein. “2013 Sees record number of births in Israel,” Israel Hayom (March 9, 2014);
“On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Israel's population hits 8.4 million,” Jerusalem Post (September 8, 2015);
Yaron Druckman. “Israel at 68 years: Still Strong and Modern,” YNet News (May 9, 2016);
“Jewish, Arab fertility rates in Israel on par for first time,” Times of Israel, (November 15, 2016);
“Israel's population grew 2% in 2016,” Globes, (January 1, 2017);
Maytal Yasur Beit-Or.  Israel boasts highest fertility rate among OECD nations, Israel Hayom, (November 13, 2017);
Amir Alon.  Nearing nine million: Israel in numbers on eve of 2018, YNet News (December 31, 2017);
Ofer Aderet.  Israel’s Population Near Nine Million on Eve of 70th Independence Anniversary, Haaretz, (April 16, 2018).