As of September 14, 2023, Israel’s population stood at 9,795,000. This is a more than 10-fold increase compared to when Israel was founded in 1948.
In the last year, the population increased by almost 200,000 (2%). The Jewish population is 7,181,000 (73.3%), and 2,065,000 (21.1%) are Arabs. Those identified as “others” (non-Arab Christians, Baha’i, Samaritans, Karaite Jews, Seventh-day Adventists, Messianic Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who identify themselves as Jewish but do not satisfy the Orthodox Jewish definition of “Jewish” the government uses for civil procedures) make up 5.6% of the population (549,000 people).
When the state was established, there were only 806,000 residents, and the total population reached its first and second million in 1949 and 1958, respectively. Judging by current population trend data, experts predict that the population of Israel will reach 10 million by 2024 or sooner.
In addition to these numbers, approximately 213,000 people are foreign workers.
Out of the 15.2 million Jewish people in the world, 47% reside in Israel.
The average earnings per household are NIS 20,027 gross (approximately $5,800).
The number of deaths during the Jewish year – 53,000 – was higher than in previous years and even higher than in 2020, when 47,788 Israelis died amid the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2021, more than 4,800 Israelis succumbed to COVID-19.
Israel is the 100th most populous country in the world, not including the over 250,000 illegal foreign workers and African migrants residing in Israel.
Almost 90% of Israelis are satisfied with their lives – 92% of Jews and 71% of Arabs. More than 70% of Jews are satisfied with their economic situation, compared to 51% of Arabs.
Of the Jewish population aged 20 and over, 44% of Jews self-identify as secular, 21% as traditional but not very observant, 12% as traditional and observant, 12% as religious, and 11% as ultra-Orthodox.
According to a poll by the NGO Hiddush published in September 2019, 58% of Jewish citizens do not affiliate with any religious stream, 18% are “Zionist Orthodox,” 12% are “ultra-Orthodox” (including 2% “Zionist ultra-Orthodox”), 7% “Reform,” and 6% “Conservative.”
Ultra-Orthodox Jews As Percentage of Population
|Number||% of Total||Number||% of Total||Number||% of Total|
|Note: Total does not include non-Arabs. Percentages for 2020 are of the total Israeli population, including non-Arabs.|
|Source: Israel Democracy Institute|
Christians comprise 7% of the Israeli Arab community. Most Christians (77%) are Arabs. The majority of non-Arab Christians living in Israel are citizens who immigrated to Israel since 1990, together with Jewish family members under the Law of Return.
Most of the Arab Christians reside in the Northern District (70.2%) and in the Haifa District (13.6%). The largest Arab Christian cities are Nazareth (21,400), Haifa (16,500), Jerusalem (12,900), and the Galilee city of Shfaram (10,300). Of the non-Arab Christians, 39% reside in the Tel Aviv and Central Districts, as compared to 36.3% in the Northern and Haifa Districts.
In 2021, the total fertility rate of a Christian woman was an average of 1.77 children per woman. The number of children per Arab Christian woman was lower still, at 1.68 children per woman. The average number of children up to age 17 in Christian families with children up to this age is 1.86. Of these Christian families, the average number of children up to age 17 in Arab Christian families is 1.94 – smaller than the numbers in Jewish families (2.42) and in Muslim families (2.62).
In the 2021/22 school year, 26,752 Christian students – 1.4% of the total number of students – attended primary and secondary schools. Nearly 84% of Christian 12th-grade students were eligible for a matriculation certificate. Just under 53% of the Arab Christians continued their studies toward a first degree within eight years of graduating high school, compared to only 31.2% of the total number of high-school graduates in the Arab school system and 48.2% in the Hebrew education.
The Hebrew was higher than women's proportion among the total number of students in the advanced degrees: 65.2% and 53.1%, respectively, of those studying for a third degree, and 73.8% and 64.2%, respectively, of those studying for a second degree.
Compared with Muslim students, the percentage of Christian-Arab students studying for a first degree (bachelor's degree) was lower in the following fields of study: education and teacher training, business and management sciences, as well as paramedical studies. In contrast, the percentage of those who studied social sciences (excl. business and management sciences), law, as well as mathematics, statistics, and computer sciences was higher.
Of all students who were studying for a first degree, representation among the Christian students was highest in the following subjects of study: musicology (15.7%), management information systems (10.5%), and food engineering and technology (9.9%).
The average age at the first marriage of Christian grooms was 30.6, and that of Christian brides was 26.8. These ages are higher than the average marriage ages among the other religions for both grooms and brides.
The percentage of participation in the labor force in 2021 among Christians aged 15 and over was 66.3% (69.2% of men and 64.1% of women). This figure was 56.4% among Christian Arabs (63.8% of men and 49.2% of women).
In 2021, the average monthly salary was about $11,773.
Approximately 16,300 Christians – a rate of 89.7 per 1,000 persons – were registered at the Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs in 2021.
In 2021, about 4,400 Christians – a rate of about 24.4 per 1,000 persons – were placed in social service frameworks.
In the year of judgment 2020, the rate of persons judged in criminal trials among the Christian population in Israel was about 208 per 100,000 persons; out of those judged, the rate among non-Arab Christians was substantially higher than the rate among Arab Christians (about 289 and 181 per 100,000 persons, respectively).
The rate of convicted Christians was about 185 per 100,000 persons. The rate of non-Arab Christian persons convicted was substantially higher than the rate of Arab Christians (about 252 and about 164 per 100,000 persons, respectively).
The most common offenses among persons convicted from the Christian population in Israel are as follows: offenses against public order (22.9%), bodily harm (21.8%), property offenses (16.1%), and morality offenses (15.0%).
In 2021, 84% of Israeli Christians said they were satisfied with life in the country.
A total number of 147,199 Holocaust survivors were living in Israel as of 2023, 60% - about 89,000 people - are women. The youngest among the survivors are 76 years old, 21% -- about 31,000, are over 90 years old, and more than 100 passed the age of 100.
One in three survivors lives under the poverty line, despite governmental assistance.
Israel welcomed approximately 25,000 new immigrants in 2021, an increase of 29% from 2020. Most immigrants arrived in Israel from Russia (30%), France (15%), the United States (14%), and Ukraine (12%).
Since Israel’s founding, 3.3 million people have immigrated to the country, 45% of them arriving since 1990.
“Most of the immigrants coming to Israel from Russia and Ukraine in recent years do not qualify as Jewish under religious law, even if they are eligible for citizenship,” Judy Maltz noted, “To qualify for citizenship under the Law of Return, an individual must have at least one Jewish grandparent, a Jewish spouse or have undergone a conversion in a recognized Jewish community (it does not have to be an Orthodox conversion). To qualify as a Jew under religious law, an individual must have been born to a Jewish mother or have undergone an Orthodox conversion by rabbis recognized by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.”
Rising anti-Semitism in France likely accounts for the increase in immigrants from that country. Maltz noted that many French Jews who moved to Israel returned to France because of difficulty integrating into Israeli society due to the inability to master Hebrew and find jobs matching their skills.
In 2020, 78% of the 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.
Israel’s population is considered young relative to the populations of other Western countries.
As of 2021, 28% of the population was aged 0-14, while only 12% were older than 65. The 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 2000. Men's average age worldwide is 28.4, and women's is 30.6 years old.
Life expectancy for Israelis is 83 years, 80.5 years for men, and 84.6 years for women. In 2017, life expectancy for Arab women was 79.5 years and 77.4 for men.
The World Health Organization issued a report in May 2016 that concluded humans were, on average, living five years longer than they were in 2000. Israel was ranked as the country with the 8th highest life expectancy globally, better than the United States, Canada, France, Russia, and other highly developed nations. Life expectancy in 2020 was 83.5 years for all Israelis, 84.9 for women, and 82 for men.
Israel’s population density in 2017 was reported as 373.2 people per km2. By comparison, Slovenia (whose 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; Bnei Brak is Israel’s densest city, with 22,145 people per km2.
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 936,047, followed by Tel Aviv-Jaffa (461,352), Haifa (285,542), Rishon Le-Zion (254,238), and Petah Tikva (248,005). Today there are 14 cities in Israel with a population of over 100,000.
Israel’s male-to-female population ratio is 982:1,000.
Israel has 15 cities that are home to over 100,000 people.
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.
The fertility of Israeli Jewish women in 2018 exceeded that of Arab women for the first time. The rate among Jewish women living in Israel and in settlements in the West Bank was 3.05 compared to 3.04 for Israeli Arab women. The overall fertility rate in Israel in 2020 was 3.01 children per woman. The average fertility rate for 2017 for all developed countries of the OECD was 1.65.
Some 184,000 babies were born in 2021 (74 were born to Jewish mothers, 23% to Arab mothers, and 3% to mothers of others).
The average monthly gross salary of employees in Israel in September 2023 was NIS 12,009 (approximately $3,346), 5.3% more than in May 2022. Almost the entire increase was eroded by inflation, which was 4.6% over the 12-month period.
In 2021, the average net household income was NIS 16,649, with monthly expenditures averaging nearly NIS 15,122. The average gross income of a self-employed woman was 54% of that of men, and female employees earned on average 66% of the salaries of men.
In the tech sector, the average salary in April 2023 was NIS 29,219 (approximately $8,140), up 5.4% from April 2022.
Between May 2022 and May 2023, the number of salaried jobs in the Israeli economy grew by 1.1%.
Sources: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.
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