Israel’s Population Almost 9.3 Million

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Central Bureau of Statistics annual population report for Israel said on Thursday that the country now has nearly 9.3 million people.

The CBS counted 6.870 million (73.9%) Jewish citizens, 1.956 million (21.1%) Arabs and 465,000 (5%) others, including Russian-speaking immigrants who are not Jewish.

The overall number represents a 1.7% increase over the previous year.

Some 84% of the population growth in 2020 was attributed to births and 16% to immigration. During the year 176,000 babies were born and 20,000 immigrants came to Israel, down from 34,000 in 2019.

The 40% drop in immigrants from the 33,247 who arrived last year, was blamed on the pandemic, which brought a ban on travel into Israel.

50,000 Israelis died in 2020 including 6,000 Israelis who were living abroad. Of the 44,000 people who died in Israel this year, 3,314 died of Covid-19, 1 in 15, according to the official figures.

On the brighter side of the pandemic, traffic-related deaths were down by 15 percent in 2020 over the previous year, with 302 people killed in deadly accidents, according to data released Wednesday by the National Road Safety Authority.

The death rate represents the lowest number since 2013, and is 53 fewer than the toll in 2019.

While there has been a general trend of decline in traffic deaths in recent years, the especially sharp this year was probably due to successive lockdowns which kept motorists off the roads.

In addition, Health Ministry protocols requiring masks and social distancing have brought down the number of Israelis with the flu and fatalities associated with it so far this year.