Jewish Population in Yehudah and Shomron Closing in on Half a Million

YERUSHALAYIM -
Construction of new buildings in Tzur Hadassah (R.) and Beitar Illit (L.). (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A total of 463,901 Jews lived in Yehudah and Shomron as of the end of 2019, the Yesha Council announced Monday. Between the beginning of 2010 and the end of 2019, the Jewish population of the region grew by 48% – by an average of 15,131 people a year, for an average of 4.1% a year.

Growth in 2019 was a bit less aggressive, with the Jewish population increasing that year by 3.4%. However, even that was better than the average growth within “Israel proper,” which averaged out to 19% a year over the past decade.

The two biggest communities in the region are the chareidi communities of Modiin Illit (Kiryat Sefer) and Beitar Illit, followed by Maale Adumim and Ariel. In 2019, Modiin Illit’s population grew by 4.8%, and Beitar Illit’s grew by 4.4%. A total of 202,177 people live in those four communities. All those are cities, each with over 20,000 residents. Of the local authorities – communities with fewer than 20,000 residents – the largest is Kochav Yaakov, north of Yerushalayim, followed by Shaare Tikvah in western Shomron, Adam (north of Yerushalayim), Talmon (west of Ramallah), Kfar Adumim, Shilo in the Binyamin region, and Tekoa in eastern Gush Etzion.

The biggest growth in any town in Yehudah and Shomron was in Beit Arava, located near the Dead Sea, which expanded by 36.5% in 2019. Other towns that grew significantly during the year include Ovnat (33.5% growth), also near the Dead Sea; Alei Zahav in Shomron, which grew by 23.3%; Maale Amos in Gush Etzion (21.1%); and Sansana in the Chevron Hills (13.7%). The regional council with the biggest growth was the Chevron District Regional Council, which increased its Jewish population in 2019 by 6.9%. Efrat grew by 6.6%, Karnei Shomron by 5.8%, and the chareidi town of Emanuel by 4.8%.