Israel’s Population Tops 8.5 Million in 5776

View of newly born babies Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90
View of newborn babies in an Israeli hospital. (Illustrative, Moshe Shai/Flash90)

With Rosh Hashanah coming next week, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) released this week the end-of-year totals of Israel’s population. At the close of 5776, Israel’s population numbered 8,585,000 – an increase of some 172,000 in the past year. A total of 189,000 babies were born over the past year, while some 46,000 people passed away.

The CBS breaks down population statistics at the end of the secular year, and at the end of 2015 there were 8.463 million people in Israel – 6.334 million (74.8 percent) of them Jews, 1.758 million (20.8 percent) Arabs, and 371,000 (4.4 percent) other.

The population grew about 2 percent in 2015 over the previous year, in line with recent long-term trends in Israel’s population growth. The fertility rate in Israel is 3.09; the highest rate among OECD countries. In 2015, 75.9 percent of Israelis were born in the country; in 1948, that figure was 35 percent.

Israel’s is a relatively young population. At the end of 2015, 28.3 percent of Israelis were aged 14 and under. With that, 11.1 percent of the population is aged 65 and older. Of those, 4.9 percent are aged 75 and older, and 3.8 percent are aged 90 and older. There were 983 men for every 1,000 women at the end of last year, compared to 974/1,000 in 1995. Men have a numerical advantage up to age 32; beyond that, there are more women than men. By 75 and older, there were 700 men for every 1,000 women, the statistics showed.

The average life span for men is 80.1 years, and for women 84.1. The CBS study showed that 84 percent of Israelis said they were “healthy” or “very healthy.”

Other statistics: 40 percent of Israelis – and nearly 50 percent of Jews – live in the Tel Aviv/Sharon area; 60 percent of Arabs live in the Galilee; Netanya was the fastest growing city (with a population of at least 200,000) in 2015, with 2.7 percent population growth over 2014; 27,908 people immigrated to Israel in 2015, 16 percent more than the year before – with Ukraine (6,886) supplying the most, followed by Russia (6,632), France (6,628), and the U.S. (2,451); and 50,797 couples got married in 2015, 73 percent of them Jewish and 23 percent Muslim.


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