Gov’t: Population Exceeds 8 Million for the First Time

Immigrants from the U.S. on a Nefesh B’Nefesh aliyah flight. (Flash90, File)

Israel’s population for the first time broke the 8.8 million mark, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported last week. As of the end of 2017, there were 8,809,200 people in Israel, with the population growing at more than 2 percent a year.

There were 6,566,200 Jews in Israel at the end of 2017, a total of 74.6 percent of the population. Arabs (Muslims and Christians) constituted 1,841,700 people, for 20.9 percent of all Israelis. “Others,” numbering 401,300 people or 4.5 percent, constituted the rest of the population.

An additional 169,000 foreign workers were currently in Israel, with legal visas, the CBS said. There were also some 50,000 African migrants whose legal status is not clear. They are currently not listed as official residents, and many of them have applied for refugee status. The government has not granted this status to them, as it claims that the large majority of them came to Israel seeking employment.