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Vital Statistics: Latest Population Statistics for Israel

(Updated May 2016)

On New Year's Day 2017, Israel's population stood at a record 8,630,000.

Diversity & Growth

The Jewish population makes up 6,450,000 (74.8%); 1,796,000 (20.8%) are Arabs; and, those identified as "others" (non-Arab Christians, Baha'i, etc) make up 4.4% of the population (384,000 people). When the state was established, there were only 806,000 residents and the total population reached its first and second millions in 1949 and 1958 respectively. Judging by current population trend data, experts predict that the population of Israel will reach 10 million by 2025 or sooner.

The overall population experienced a growth rate of 2% during 2016.

The Jewish population of Israel grew by 1.7%, and the Arab population grew by 2.2%

According to an August 2014 report conducted by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies entitled "Family Structure and Well-Being Across Israel’s Diverse Population", Israel has the highest birth rate in the developed world.  As opposed to the international average of 1.7 children per woman, Israel's rate stands at 3 children per woman because of Israel's large Orthodox population.  Israel also provides many services and child benefits including job protection before and after maternity leave that make raising a child more attractive to people who live there.  This study also produced the disturbing statistic that 1 in 5 Israelis live at or below the poverty line. 

Out of the 14.3 million Jewish people in the world, 43% reside in Israel. 

Israel is the 99th most populous country in the world, not including the over 250,000 illegal foreign workers and African migrants residing in Israel. 

Immigration & Naturalization

Israel welcomed approximately 36,000 new immigrants between Independence Day 2015 and 2016, with most immigrants arriving in Israel from France (25%), the Ukraine (24%), Russia (23%), and the United States (9%). 

In 2014, 75% of the total Jewish population were "Sabras" - born in Israel - compared with just a 35% native-born population at Israel's independence in 1948. 38.6% of the Jewish population are Israeli-born to at least one parent who was also Israeli-born.

Those of European and American ancestry make up about 2.2 million (36%) of the Jewish population while Africans fill out another 14.5% and Asians are 11.2%.

A study performed by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that one in four Jewish individuals currently live in a country other than the one they were born in.  In contrast, one in twenty Christians and one in twenty five Muslims live in a country other than that of their birth.  This makes Jewish individuals the world's top migrants. 

A Young Population

Israel's population is considered young relative to the populations of other Western countries.

181,000 Israeli babies were born, and 36,000 new immigrants made their homes in Israel during 2016.

28.% of the population was aged 0-14 while only 10.3% were older than 65 years of age. OECD average is 18.5% (0-14) and 15% (65+). Israel's average age, however, is getting older.  In 2011, the average age was 29.5 years as opposed to 27.6 in the year 2000. Average age worldwide for males is 28.4 and for women is 30.6 years old.

A study published by the World Health Organization in the medical journal Lancet ranked Israel 6th out of 188 countries in global healthy life expectancy in September 2015. This “healthy life expectancy” number takes into account the average life expectancy, as well as years of life without a terminal disease. Life expectancy in 2014 was 80.2 years for men and 84 years for women.  This life expectancy continues an upward trend of the last decade, and the Israeli life expectancy is higher than the OECD average.

The World Health Organization issued a new report in May 2016 that concluded humans were on average living 5 years longer than they were 16 years prior, in 2000. Israel was ranked as the country with the 8th highest life expectancy in the world on the list, scoring above the United States, Canada, France, Russia, and other highly developed nations.


The most popular cities for new immigrants to settle down in during 2014 were Tel Aviv and Netanya, with 3,275, and 3,102 new immigrants settling there, respectively.

2013 saw negative migration from Israel's largest cities, as people migrated to the suburbs and the surrounding hills.  The greater Tel Aviv area lost 7,700 residents with the city itself losing 1,900.  Jerusalem suffered a population loss of 7,400, while outlying areas such as Rehovot, Petah Tikva, Lod, and Modi'in experienced a net population increase.  Petah Tikva experienced the largest population increase, with 3,100 individuals.  Haifa and the West Bank reported total gains of 2,800 individuals as well. 

Just under half of the Jewish population lives in the center of the country, either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv metropolitan areas.  60% of the Arab population lives in the north.

Jerusalem and the Central region recorded an above average growth rate of 2.5% while Tel Aviv saw one of its lowest, at 0.8%.

Israel's population density increased in 2011 to 347 people per every square kilometer (not including the West Bank) as opposed to only 288 people per km2 in 2000. By comparison, Slovenia (who's territory is roughly the same size as Israel's) has a population density of 102 people per km2; Belgium (slightly larger than Israel) has a density of 364 people per km2.

Tel Aviv is Israel's densest region with 7,522 people per km2; Jerusalem has a density of 1,484 people per km2 and Bnei Brak is Israel's densest city with 22,145 people per km2.

Israel's male to female population ratio is 982 : 1,000.

Birth, Marriage & Divorce

140,591 Israelis were wed over the past year. 32,457 Israelis were divorced during the year.

195,000 babies were born in Israel between Independence Day 2015 and 2016.

As of 2016, Israel has the highest birth rate in the developed world, with an average of 3.13 children per woman.  The birth rates for Jewish and Arab Israeli women were identical (3.13 children per woman) for the first time in history during 2015.

Sources: Central Bureau of Statistics (December 2013; April 2013; September 2012);
Efraim, Omri. “Rosh Hashana Eve: 8.081 million Israelis,” YNet News (September 3, 2013);
Klein, Zeev. “2013 Sees record number of births in Israel,” Israel Hayom (March 9, 2014);
“On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Israel's population hits 8.4 million,” Jerusalem Post (September 8, 2015)
Druckman, Yaron. “Israel at 68 years: Still Strong and Modern,” YNet News (May 9, 2016);
“Jewish, Arab fertility rates in Israel on par for first time,” Times of Israel, (November 15, 2016);
“Israel's population grew 2% in 2016,” Globes, (January 1, 2017);