On Rosh Hashanah eve, Israel’s population hits 8.58 million

Country now has 6.4 million Jews, 1.8 million Arabs — an overall increase of 2% over the previous year

Illustrative: Newborn babies in a hospital ward (Flash 90)
Illustrative: Newborn babies in a hospital ward (Flash 90)

On the eve of the Jewish new year, the State of Israel has a population of 8.585 million, 172,000 more than the same time last year.

Israel experienced a population growth rate of almost 2 percent over the past Jewish year, consistent with previous years, according to data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.

Jews make up close to three-quarters of the population at 6.4 million residents, while Israel’s almost 1.8 million Arabs make up one-fifth of the population. Those of other backgrounds, including non-Arab Christians and those not categorized as members of a religious group by the Population, Immigration and Border Authority, make up less than 5% of the population, at 380,000 people.

The country’s birthrate was more than four times that of the death rate, with 189,000 babies being born during the past Jewish year and 46,000 people dying.

In the past year 30,000 people came to live in Israel, of whom 25,000 were new immigrants.

By religion, the Jewish population of Israel increased by 1.9%, the Muslim population by 2.4%, the Christian by 1.5% and the Druze by 1.4%. Overall, the Arab population grew by 2.2%.

Fifty thousand, seven hundred and ninety-seven couples wed in the past year, of whom almost three-quarters were Jewish, and 44,412 of the grooms and 45,547 of the brides were marrying for the first time. The average age of first-time husbands was 27.6; it was 25 for first-time wives.

The report did not include foreign migrants and workers, who numbered 183,000 people at the end of 2015.

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