Israel’s population stood at 8.743 million on the eve of the Jewish new year, up some 156,000 people from the previous year.
The population growth rate was 1.8 percent, similar to recent years, according to data published Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics to mark Rosh Hashanah.
Jews make up nearly three-quarters of the population at 6.5 million, while Israel’s almost 1.8 million Arabs make up just over one-fifth of the population. Those of other backgrounds, such as Druze, non-Arab Christians, and those not categorized as members of a religious group, make up less than 4.5% of the population, at 396,000 people.
Israel’s birth rate was 3.11 on the year, with 181,405 babies being born.
The birth rate, the highest in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a club of mostly Western developed economies, was four times greater than the death rate, with 43,000 people dying over the last year.
The country also saw 27,000 people move to Israel over the last year, of whom 25,000 were new immigrants. Of the new immigrants, the highest number came from countries in the former Soviet Union, followed by France and the United States.
The CBS said Israel’s population would continue to grow in the years ahead and is expected to reach 10 million people by 2024 and 20 million by 2065.
Among Israelis aged 20 years and over, 88% said they were content or very content with their lives, while only 6% said they often felt lonely.