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Vital Statistics: Latest Population Statistics for Israel

(Updated May 2017)

On Independence Day 2017 Israel's population stood at a record 8,680,000.  This is a 10-fold increase compared to when Israel was founded in 1948.  

Diversity & Growth

The Jewish population makes up 6,484,000 (74.7%); 1,808,000 (20.8%) are Arabs; and, those identified as "others" (non-Arab Christians, Baha'i, etc) make up 4.5% of the population (388,000 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.

The overall population grew by 159,000, a 1.9% increase, between May 2016 and May 2017.  

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.  

Immigration & Naturalization

Israel welcomed approximately 30,000 new immigrants from May 2016 to May 2017, with most immigrants arriving in Israel from France (25%), the Ukraine (24%), Russia (23%), and the United States (9%). 

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 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.

174,000 babies were born, and 30,000 new immigrants made their homes in Israel from May 2016 to May 2017.

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.  

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 2014 was 80.2 years for men and 84 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.

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.

Distribution

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.

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.

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 14 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.  

174,000 babies were born from May 2016 to May 2017.

As of 2016, Israel has the highest birth rate in the developed world, with an average of 3.13 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);
Efraim, Omri. “Rosh Hashana Eve: 8.081 million Israelis,” YNet News (September 3, 2013);
Klein, Zeev. “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);
Druckman, Yaron. “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);