At 70, Israel’s population is 8.842 million, 43% of world Jewry

Central Bureau of Statistics figures show 74.5% of population is Jewish, predict population will be 15.2 million by 2048

Jewish youth in Jerusalem as they take part in  the 'March of the Living' event. on May 2, 2017. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Jewish youth in Jerusalem as they take part in the 'March of the Living' event. on May 2, 2017. (Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

On the eve of Israel’s 70th Independence Day, its population stands at 8,842,000, of whom 74.5 percent are Jewish, according to figures released on Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The Jewish population stands at approximately 6.589 million, while Arabs number some 1.849 million, 20.9% of the population. There are approximately 404,000 citizens, 4.6%, who are non-Arab Christians or members of other ethnic groups.

Over the past 12 months some 177,000 babies were born, 41,000 Israelis died and 28,000 immigrants arrived. Overall, the population increased by 1.9%, and at the current rate will hit 15.2 million by the time Israel celebrates its centennial in 2048.

Independence Day celebrations begin on Wednesday night, as the country transitions from Memorial Day — 24 hours of mourning for its fallen soldiers and terror victims.

In 1948 there were just 806,000 people in Israel, less than a tenth of the current number. At the time, the global Jewish population was 11.5 million, and just 6% were in Israel. There are now estimated to be 14.511 million Jewish people worldwide and 45% of them reside in the Jewish state.

At the founding of the state there were only three cities that had populations greater than 100,000. In 2018 there are 15 cities of at least that size, up from 12 a decade ago.

The overall fertility rate for Israelis was 3.11 children per woman, — by far the highest birthrate in the West. The OECD average is about 1.7 kids per woman, and the second-highest fertility rate for a member of the organization is Mexico with about 2.2.

Jewish women in 2016 had 3.06 kids on average, higher than in 1996 when the number was 2.59. In contrast, the average Arab woman had 3.11 children, significantly down from 4.35 in 1996 and almost 6 in 1980.

Whereas in 1949 the life expectancy for women in Israel was 67.6 years and for men was 64.9, by the end of 2016 it was 84.2 for women and 80.6 for men, slightly lower than the previous year.

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