Israel added over 150,000 people to its population rolls since the last Jewish New Year, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said Wednesday, days before the new year begins.
The population now stands at an estimated 9,246,000 people, 1.6 percent more than a year ago. Some 170,000 babies were born over the past year, while 44,000 people died, the bureau said.
The figure is a downturn after last year saw the population grow by 2.1%.
Another 25,000 people immigrated to the country, most of whom did so under the Law of Return, which grants citizenship eligibility to anyone with a Jewish grandparent.
The number represented a large drop from the last Jewish year, when some 38,000 people moved to the country, but was still lower than the years before that, during which some 26,000 to 30,000 immigrants moved to Israel annually
Despite the slowed growth, the bureau kept its population projections from last year, which predict that the Jewish state will reach a population of 10 million in 2024, 15 million in 2048 and 20 million in 2065.
Jews in Israel make up about 74% of the population, with 6,841,000 citizens registered as Jewish. Another 1,946,000 (21%) are Arab, and the rest, 459,000 (5%), are members of other groups. The percentages are roughly the same ratio as previous years.
Of the Jews aged 20 or more, 43.1% define themselves as secular; 22.1% said they were traditional but not very religious; 12.8% defined themselves as traditional and closer to being religious, 11.3% said they were religious and 10.1% identified as ultra-Orthodox, the bureau said..
The average life expectancy, one of the world’s highest, grew slightly to 84.7 years for women and 81 years for men, according to the statement. The average birthrate stood at 3.01 children per woman.
Some 88.8% of Israelis are happy with their lives, breaking down to 92% of the Jews and 76% of the Arabs.
However, amid the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis it has caused, only 62.6% are satisfied with their financial situation, including 66.3% of Jews and 50.8% of Arabs.
The survey found that 13.4% of Israelis aged 20 or more over last year considered moving abroad for a period of at least five years.
The survey found that 83.9% of Israelis aged 20 or more said their health was good or very good.
The bureau releases population statistics twice a year, ahead of the Jewish New Year and before Independence Day in the spring.
Rosh Hashanah begins on Friday and kicks off the Jewish year 5781.