Demographics of Israel

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Demographics of Israel
Population of Israel since 1949.svg
Population of Israel since 1949
Population 8,462,600 (96th)
Density 377/km2 (35th)
Growth rate 2.0% [1]
Birth rate 21.3 births/1,000 population (101st)
Death rate 5.2 deaths/1,000 population (174th)
Life expectancy 82.01 years (18th)
 • male 80.02 years
 • female 84.0 years
Fertility rate 3.04 children born/woman (76th)
Infant mortality rate 4.03 deaths/1,000 live births (25th)
Age structure
0–14 years 27.3%
15–64 years 62.2%
65 and over 10.5%
Sex ratio
Total 1.01 male(s)/female
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 1.05 male(s)/female
15–64 years 1.03 male(s)/female
65 and over 0.78 male(s)/female
Nationality Israelis
Major ethnic Jews, Arabs
Minor ethnic Druze, Arameans, Armenians
Official Hebrew, Arabic
Spoken English, Russian

The demographic features of Israel are monitored by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. The State of Israel has a population of approximately 8,462,000 inhabitants as of the end of 2015.[2] 74.9% percent of them are Jewish (about 6,335,000 individuals), 20.7% are Arabs (about 1,757,000 individuals), while the remaining 4.4% (about 370,000 individuals) are defined as "others" (including family members of Jewish immigrants who are not registered at the Ministry of Interior as Jews, non-Arab Christians, non-Arab Muslims and residents who do not have an ethnic or religious classification).

Israel's annual population growth rate stood at 2.0% in 2015, more than three times faster than the OECD average of around 0.6%.[3] With an average of 3 children per woman, Israel also has the highest fertility rate in the OECD by a considerable margin, and much higher than the OECD average of 1.7[4]

Generally, population trends in Israel reflect distinct patterns of three sub-groups: Non-Haredi Jews (around 63.3% of the population), Haredi Jews (11.7%), and Arabs (20.7%).[5] Over the past decade, the Arab annual population growth has fallen significantly from around 3% to less than 2.2% by 2013,[6] while the overall Jewish growth rate rose from around 1.4% to 1.7%, primarily due to the expanding Haredi sector.[7]

Group[8][9] Population Proportion of total Growth rate
Jews: 6,119,000 75.0% 1.7%
Non-Haredi 5,499 000 65.1% 1.2%
Haredi 750,000 9.9% 5.0%
Arabs 1,688,600 20.7% 2.2%
Other 349,700 4.3% N/A
Total 8,157,300 100% 1.9%


The territory of Israel can be defined in a number of ways as a result of a complex and unresolved political situation (see table below). For example, whilst the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics defines the area of Israel to include the annexed East Jerusalem and Golan Heights and to exclude the militarily controlled regions of the West Bank. The CBS defines the population of Israel to also include Israeli settlers living in the Area C of West Bank and the Arab residents of East Jerusalem and Area C, who have Israeli residency or citizenship.

Region Status Population (thousands) Area (km2)
Israelis (including Jews and Arabs) Cumulative total Non-Israeli Palestinians Cumulative total Area Cumulative total
Green Line Area sovereign to Israel after 1949 Armistice Agreements 6,819[10] - - - 20,582[10]
East Jerusalem Occupied by Israel in 1967. Annexed by Israel via the Jerusalem Law of 1980, yet this annexation is only recognized by a select group of countries. 455[11] - 225 (double counted)[12] - 336[13] -
Golan Heights Occupied by Israel in 1967. Annexed by Israel via the Golan Heights Law of 1981, yet this annexation is only recognized by a select group of countries. 42[14] 7,316[14] n.a. (Syrians) n.a. 1,154[15] 22,072[15]
Seam Zone Area between the Green Line and the West Bank barrier - area occupied by Israel in 1967, currently part of Area C 188[16] - 35[16] - 200[13] -
Other Israeli settlements and IDF military areas (West Bank Area C) Israeli control, except over Palestinian civilians, according to the administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords 57[10] 7,620[14] 115[17] 375[10] 2,961[18] 25,233[10]
Palestinian National Authority (West Bank Areas A and B) Palestinian civil control, according to the administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords - - 2,311[19] 2,686[10] 2,143[17] 27,376[10]
Gaza Strip Palestinian governed area. Israel controls airspace, maritime border and 80% of land border. - - 1,816[20] 4,502[10] 360[20] 27,736[10]


Within Israel's system of local government, an urban municipality can be granted a city council by the Israeli Interior Ministry when its population exceeds 20,000.[21] The term "city" does not generally refer to local councils or urban agglomerations, even though a defined city often contains only a small portion of an urban area or metropolitan area's population.

^a This number includes East Jerusalem and West Bank areas. Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem is internationally unrecognized.

Ethnic and religious groups

The most prominent ethnic and religious groups, who live in Israel at present and who are Israeli citizens or nationals, are as follows:


Israeli soldiers

According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2008, of Israel's 7.3 million people, 75.6 percent were Jews of any background.[23] Among them, 70.3 percent were Sabras (born in Israeli), mostly second- or third-generation Israelis, and the rest are olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel)—20.5 percent from Europe and the Americas, and 9.2 percent from Asia and Africa, including the Arab countries.[24]

The paternal lineage of the Jewish population of Israel as of 2009 is as follows.

Jewish Population of Israel by paternal country of origin[24]
TOTAL 5,523,700 100%
From Europe, America and Oceania by own or paternal country of origin: 1,939,400 35.11%
Russia/USSR 923,600 %
Poland 198,500 %
Romania 213,100 %
Other Europe 61,100 %
USA/Canada/Australia/NZ 149,200 %
Germany/Austria 49,700 %
Bulgaria/Greece 48,900 %
South America 100,600 %
Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia 64,900 %
France 63,200 %
UK 39,800 %
From Africa by paternal country of origin: 859,100 15.53%
Morocco 486,600 %
Algeria and Tunisia 120,600 %
Libya 67,400 %
Egypt 55,800 %
Ethiopia 106,900 %
Others 17,200 %
From Asia by own or paternal country of origin: 681,400 12.33%
Turkey 76,900 %
Iraq 233,500 %
Yemen 138,300 %
Iran 134,700 %
India/Pakistan 45,600 %
Syria and Lebanon 35,300 %
Other Asia 17,200 %
Father born in Israel 2,043,800 37%

The errors occurring due to these calculations were:

  • The country of origin is not necessarily relevant; e.g., an Italian Jew can be Sephardi or Ashkenazi or neither.
  • The census follows only the paternal origin of families. The majority of marriages in Israel are of mixed-ethnic origins.
  • There was no distinction made between Sephardim and Mizrachim. (If the Sephardim, Mountain Jews and other non-European groups are included in the Middle East and Asian group, then Middle Eastern and Asian Jews will outnumber European and American Jews by a margin of 52 to 48).
  • Many Sephardim from Turkey were counted as Mizrachim.
  • Mountain Jews, Georgian Jews and Bukharan Jews who together constitute ~15% of FSU Jews counted as European Jews until 1996 (until 1996, Central Asia and the Caucasian republics were counted as part of Europe. After 1996, they were counted as part of Asia).
  • The Harbin Jews (~1,000) from China counted as Mizrachim, although they were Russian speaking communities of European origin.
  • After 1996, Russian speaking Ashkenazim from Kazakhstan, Kirghizia and Armenia counted as Mizrachim.
  • Close to 20,000 South African Jews were classified as Mizrachim, although almost all of them are of European Jewish origin (Lithuanian, English and Afrikaans speaking).
  • A few hundred Black Hebrews from the United States were classified as Ashkenazim.
  • All Jews from Latin America were classified as Ashkenazim, although significant numbers are Sephardim (15–20% in Argentina and Mexico, 20%+ in Brazil, similar percentages in other countries). Close to three fifths of the Latin American Jews in Israel are Argentine, with one tenth each from Uruguay and Brazil.
  • 86,000 Bulgarian/Greek Jews are classified as Ashkenazim, although the majority are Sephardim/Romaniotes.
  • Jews whose Jewishness was not recognized were not counted; almost all of them were Ashkenazim (~275,000 in 2007).
  • Border changes in Europe changed the national identities - for example the city of Lvov - moved between Austria, Poland, the Soviet Union and Ukraine over the 20th century.
  • Sephardi Jews have lived in the Middle East and Ashkenazi Jews have lived in Europe.


The 2009 survey by the Guttman Center found the following distribution:

  • Believing in the existence of God – 80%
  • Not believing in the existence of God – 20%

Fertility rates between secular and religious groups also differ significantly.


Proportion of Arab population by region, 2000

Arab citizens of Israel are those Arab residents of Mandatory Palestine, who remained within Israel's borders following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the establishment of the state of Israel. It is including those born within the state borders subsequent to this time, as well as those who had left during the Nakba (or their descendants), who have since re-entered by means accepted as lawful residence by the Israeli state (primarily family reunifications).

In 2006, the official number of Arab residents in Israel was 1,413,500 people, about 20 percent of Israel’s population. This figure includes 209,000 Arabs (14% of the Israeli Arab population) in East Jerusalem, also counted in the Palestinian statistics, although 98 percent of East Jerusalem Palestinians have either Israeli residency or Israeli citizenship.[25]

Arab Muslims

Most Arab citizens of Israel are Muslim, particularly of the Sunni branch of Islam. A small minority are Ahmadiyya sect and there are also some Alawites (affiliated with Shia Islam) of Ghajar with Israeli citizenship. As of 2008, Arab citizens of Israel comprised just over 20 percent of the country's total population. About 82.6 percent of the Arab population in Israel was Sunni Muslim (with a very small minority of Shia), another 9 percent was Druze, and around 9 percent was Christian (mostly Eastern Orthodox and Catholic denominations).


The Arab Muslim citizens of Israel include also the Bedouins, who are divided into two main groups: the Bedouin in the north of Israel, who live in villages and towns for the most part, and the Bedouin in the Negev, who include half-nomadic and inhabitants of towns and Unrecognized villages. According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as of 1999, 110,000 Bedouins live in the Negev, 50,000 in the Galilee and 10,000 in the central region of Israel.[26] All Arab Bedouins of Israel practice Sunni Islam.


The Ahmadiyya community was first established in the region in the 1920s, in what was then Mandatory Palestine. Israel is the only country in the Middle East, where Ahmadi Muslims can openly practice their faith, which is not recognized as part of Islam by most Sunni and Shi'a denominations. As such, Kababir, a neighbourhood on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel, acts as the Middle East headquarters of the Community.[27][28] It is unknown how many Israeli Ahmadis there are, although it is estimated there are about 2,200 Ahmadis in Kababir alone.[29]

Arab Christians

There is a significant Arab Christian minority from various denominations, numbering 122,000 — a majority of Christians in Israel.


Some 1,000 Israeli citizens belong to the Coptic community, originated in Egypt.


The Arab citizens of Israel include also the Druze who were numbered at an estimated 129,800 at the end of 2011.[30] All of the Druze living in what was then British Mandate Palestine became Israeli citizens after the declaration of the State of Israel. Though some individuals identify themselves as "Palestinian Druze",[31] most Druze do not consider themselves to be 'Palestinian', and consider their Israeli identity stronger than their Arab identity. Druze serve prominently in the Israel Defense Forces, and are represented in mainstream Israeli politics and business as well, unlike Muslim Arabs who are not required to and choose not to serve in the Israeli army.

Syriac Christians


In 2014, Israel has decided to recognize the Aramaic community within its borders as a national minority, allowing some of the Christians in Israel to be registered as "Aramean" instead of "Arab".[32] As of October 2014, some 600 Israelis requested to be registered as Arameans, with several thousand eligible for the status - mostly members of the Maronite community.

The Maronite Christian community in Israel of around 7,000 resides mostly in the Galilee, with a presence in Haifa, Nazareth and Jerusalem. It is largely composed of families that lived in Upper Galilee in villages such as Jish long before the establishment of Israel in 1948. In the year 2000, the community was joined by a group of Lebanese SLA militia members and their families, who fled Lebanon after 2000 withdrawal of IDF from South Lebanon.


There are around 1,000 Assyrians living in Israel, mostly in Jerusalem and Nazareth. Assyrians are an Aramaic speaking, Eastern Rite Christian minority who are descended from the ancient Mesopotamians. The old Syriac Orthodox monastery of Saint Mark lies in Jerusalem. Other than followers of the Syriac Orthodox Church, there are also followers of the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church living in Israel.

Other citizens


The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Ancestrally, they claim descent from a group of Israelite inhabitants who have connections to ancient Samaria from the beginning of the Babylonian Exile up to the beginning of the Common Era. 2007 population estimates show that 712 Samaritans live half in Holon, Israel and half at Mount Gerizim in the West Bank. The Holon community holds Israeli citizenship, while the Gerizim community resides at an Israeli controlled enclave, holding dual Israeli-Palestinian citizenship.


About 4,000 Armenians reside in Israel mostly in Jerusalem (including in the Armenian Quarter), but also in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jaffa. Armenians have a Patriarchate in Jerusalem and churches in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa. Although Armenians of Old Jerusalem have Israeli identity cards, they are officially holders of Jordanian passports.[33]


Circassians in Kfar Kama

In Israel, there are also a few thousand Circassians, living mostly in Kfar Kama (2,000) and Reyhaniye (1,000).[34] These two villages were a part of a greater group of Circassian villages around the Golan Heights. The Circassians in Israel enjoy, like Druzes, a status aparte. Male Circassians (at their leader's request) are mandated for military service, while females are not.

People from post-Soviet states

Russophone shop in Haifa

Non-Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union many of whom are ethnic Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, who were eligible to immigrate due to having, or being married to somebody who has, at least one Jewish grandparent. A very small number of these immigrants also belong to various non-Slavic ethnic groups from the Former Soviet Union such as Moldovans, Tatars, Germans among others.[citation needed] In addition, a certain number of former Soviet citizens, primarily women of Russian and Ukrainian ethnicity, immigrated to Israel, after marrying Muslim or Christian Arab citizens of Israel, who went to study in the former Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. The total number of those primarily Slavic ancestry people among Israeli citizens is around 40,000.


Although most Finns in Israel are either Finnish Jews or their descendants, a small number of Finnish Christians moved to Israel in the 1940s before the independence and have since then gained citizenship following independence. For the most part many of the original Finnish settlers intermarried with the other communities in the country, and therefore remain very small in number. A moshav near Jerusalem named Yad HaShmona meaning the Memorial for the Eight was established in 1971 by a group of Finnish Christian-Israelis although today most members are Israeli and are predominantly Hebrew speakers and the moshav has become a center of Messianic Jews.[35][36]


The Baha'i population in Israel can be divided into various groups. The most senior group of Israeli Baha'is consists of those who are employed or have some other role in the pilgrimage sites. These Baha'is number between six hundred to seven hundred and primarily reside in either Acre or Haifa.[37][38] A fluctuating segment of Baha'is consists of pilgrims.[39] The number of self-identified Baha'i Israeli citizens has been estimated at 14,000 in 2000, and this number has since grown.[40][41]


The number of Vietnamese people in Israel is estimated at 200–400. Most of them came to Israel in between 1976–1979, after prime minister Menachem Begin authorized their admission to Israel and granted them political asylum. The Vietnamese people living in Israel are Israeli citizens who also serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Today, the majority of the community lives in the Gush Dan area in the center of Tel Aviv but also a few dozen Vietnamese-Israelis or Israelis of Vietnamese origin live in Haifa, Jerusalem and Ofakim.

African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem

The African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem is a small spiritual group of African Americans, whose members believe they are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. With a population of over 5,000, most members live in their own community in Dimona, Israel, with additional families in Arad, Mitzpe Ramon, and the Tiberias area. At least some of them consider themselves to be Jewish, but mainstream scholarship does not consider them to be of Israelite but of subsaharan African origin. Their ancestors were African Americans who after several years in Liberia migrated to Israel in the late 1960s and demanded that Israel give them citizenship in the state. When Israel refused they relinquished their United States citizenship and de facto became stateless. After some deliberation the Israeli government granted them citizenship. The African Hebrew Israelites like the Haredim and Israeli Arabs are not required to serve in the military however many do so and they do receive social benefits from the state including free healthcare. Most believe in a kind of Paleo-Judaism based on the Torah without the Oral Laws, however at least one member of the community underwent a conversion to Orthodox Judaism.

Naturalized foreign workers

Some naturalized foreign workers and their children born in Israel, predominantly from the Philippines, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Romania, China, Cyprus, Turkey, Thailand and South America.


African migrants

Meeting between Sudanese refugees and Israeli students, 2007.

The number and status of African refugees in Israel is disputed and controversial but it is estimated that at least 70,000 refugees mainly from Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast reside and work in Israel. A count in late 2011 published in Ynet pointed out the number only in Tel Aviv is 40,000, which represents 10 percent of the city's population. The vast majority is living at the southern parts of the city. There is a significant population in the southern Israeli cities of Eilat, Arad and BeerSheva.

Foreign workers

There are around 300,000 foreign workers, residing in Israel under temporary work visas. Most of those foreign workers engage in agriculture and construction. The main groups of those foreign workers include the Chinese, Thai, Filipino, Nigerian, Romanian and Latin Americans.

Other refugees

Approximately 100–200 refugees from Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraqi Kurdistan and North Korea were absorbed in Israel as refugees, most of them were also given Israeli resident status and currently reside in Israel.[citation needed] As of 2006, some 200 ethnic Kurdish refugees from Turkey resided in Israel as illegal immigrants, fleeing the Turkey-PKK conflict.[42]


Signs in Hebrew, Arabic and English

Due to its immigrant nature, Israel is one of the most multicultural and multilingual societies in the world. Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages in the country, while English and Russian are the two most widely spoken non official languages. Georgian, Yiddish, Romanian, Ukrainian, Azerbaijani, Amharic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Ladino, French, Persian, Hungarian, Spanish, German, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Tagalog, Fur, Tigrinya, Bilen, Turkish, Portuguese, Greek, Hindi, Malayalam, Mizo, Kukish and Polish are the most commonly used other foreign languages.[citation needed] A certain degree of English is spoken widely, and is the language of choice for many Israeli businesses. Courses of Hebrew and English language are mandatory in the Israeli school system, and most schools offer either Arabic, Spanish, German or French.


Percentage changes of the main religious groups in the years 1949–2008

According to a 2010 Israel Central Bureau of Statistics study[43] of Israelis aged over 18, 8% of Israeli Jews define themselves as haredim (or Ultra-Orthodox); an additional 12% are "religious" (non-haredi orthodox, also known as: dati leumi/national-religious or religious zionist); 13% consider themselves "religious-traditionalists" (mostly adhering to Jewish Halakha); 25% are "non-religious traditionalists" (only partly respecting the Jewish Halakha), and 43% are "secular". Among the seculars, 53% say they believe in God. Due to the higher birth rate of religious and traditionalists over seculars, their share among the overall population is growing as time passes.

While the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredim, represented only 5% of Israel's population in 1990,[44] they are expected to represent more than one-fifth of Israel's Jewish population by 2028.[45]

Religious makeup, 2011[30]
Group Population  %
Jews 5,907,500 75.4%
Muslims 1,354,300 17.3%
Christians 155,100 2.0%
Druze 129,800 1.6%
Other 289,900 3.7%


Education between ages 5 and 15 is compulsory. It is not free, but it is subsidized by the government, individual organizations (such as the Beit Yaakov System) or a combination. Parents are expected to participate in courses as well. The school system is organized into kindergartens, 6-year primary schools, and either 6-year secondary schools or 3-year junior secondary schools + 3-year senior secondary schools (depending on region), after which a comprehensive examination is offered for university admissions.


As Israel's continued existence as a Jewish state relies upon maintenance of a Jewish demographic majority, Israeli demographers, politicians and bureaucrats have treated Jewish population growth promotion as a central question in their research and policymaking. Non-Jewish population growth and immigration is regarded as a threat to the Jewish demographic majority and to Israel's security, as detailed in the Koenig Memorandum.

Israel is the thirty-fourth most-densely crowded country in the world. In an academic article, Jewish National Fund Board member Daniel Orenstein, argues that, as elsewhere, overpopulation is a stressor on the environment in Israel; he shows that environmentalists have conspicuously failed to consider the impact of population on the environment and argues that overpopulation in Israel has not been appropriately addressed for ideological reasons.[46][47]

Citizenship and Entry Law

The Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Order) 5763 was first passed on 31 July 2003 and has since been extended until 31 July 2008. The law places age restrictions for the automatic granting of Israeli citizenship and residency permits to spouses of Israeli citizens, such that spouses who are inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are ineligible. On 8 May 2005, The Israeli ministerial committee for issues of legislation once again amended the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, to restrict citizenship and residence in Israel only to Palestinian men over the age of 35, and Palestinian women over the age of 25. Those in favor of the law say the law not only limits the possibility of the entrance of terrorists into Israel, but, as Ze'ev Boim asserts, allows Israel "to maintain the state's democratic nature, but also its Jewish nature" (i.e. its Jewish demographic majority).[48] Critics, including the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,[49] say the law disproportionately affects Arab citizens of Israel, since Arabs in Israel are far more likely to have spouses from the West Bank and Gaza Strip than other Israeli citizens.[50]

In the constitutional challenges to the Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law, the state, represented by the Attorney General, insisted that security was the only objective behind the law. The state also added that even if the law was intended to achieve demographic objectives, it is still in conformity with Israel's Jewish and democratic definition and thus constitutional. In a 2012 ruling by the Supreme Court on the issue, some of the judges on the panel discussed demography and were inclined to accept that demography is a legitimate consideration in devising family reunification policies that violate the right to family life.[51]

Soviet immigration

During the 1970s about 163,000 people of Jewish descent immigrated to Israel from the USSR.

Later Ariel Sharon, in his capacity as Minister of Housing & Construction and member of the Ministerial Committee for Immigration & Absorption, launched an unprecedented large-scale construction effort to accommodate the new Russian population in Israel so as to facilitate their smooth integration and encourage further Jewish immigration as an ongoing means of increasing the Jewish population of Israel.[52] Between 1989 and 2006, about 979,000 emigrated from former Soviet Union to Israel.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1950 1,370,100 —    
1960 2,150,400 +57.0%
1970 3,022,100 +40.5%
1980 3,921,700 +29.8%
1990 4,821,700 +22.9%
2000 6,369,300 +32.1%
2010 7,695,100 +20.8%
2015 8,462,000 +10.0%
Source: [2][53][54]

Total population

Note: includes over 200,000 Israelis and 250,000 Arabs in East Jerusalem, about 325,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, and about 42,000 in the Golan Heights (July 2007 est.). Does not include Arab populations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Does not include 222,000 foreigners living in the country.[55]

Age structure

A population pyramid that shows the age of the population by sex in 2010.


  • 0–14 years: 28.0%
  • 15–64 years: 62.1%
  • 65 years and over: 9.9%


  • 0–14 years: 25.5%
  • 15–64 years: 63.1%
  • 65 years and over: 11.4%


  • 0–14 years: 37.5%
  • 15–64 years: 58.6%
  • 65 years and over: 3.9% (2010 est.)

Median age

  • Total: 29.7
  • Jewish: 31.6
  • Arab: 21.1

The Jewish median age in Jerusalem district and the West Bank are 24.9 and 19.7 respectively and both account for 16% of the Jewish population but 24% of 0–4 year olds. The lowest median age in Israel and one of the lowest in the world is found in two of West Bank biggest Jewish cities: Modiin Ilit (11), Beitar Ilit (11)[56] followed by Bedouin towns in the Negev (15.2).[57]

Population growth rate

  • 2.0% (2015)

During the 1990s, the Jewish population growth rate was about 3% per year, as a result of massive immigration to Israel, primarily from the republics of the former Soviet Union. There is also a high population growth rate among certain Jewish groups, especially adherents of Haredi Judaism. The growth rate of the Arab population in Israel is 2.2%, while the growth rate of the Jewish population in Israel is 1.7%. The growth rate of the Arab population has slowed from 3.8% in 1999 to 2.2% in 2013, and for the Jewish population the growth rate declined from 2.7% to its lowest rate of 1.4% in 2005, before picking up moderately since then to 1.7%.

Birth rate

  • 21.3 births/1,000 population (May 2014)
Births, by mother[58]
Year Jewish Muslim Christian Druze Others Total  % Jewish  % Muslim
1996 83,710 30,802 2,678 2,682 1,800 121,333 69.0% 25.4%
2000 91,936 35,740 2,789 2,708 3,623 136,390 67.4% 26.2%
2005 100,657 34,217 2,487 2,533 4,455 143,913 69.9% 23.8%
2006 104,513 34,337 2,500 2,601 4,675 148,170 70.5% 23.2%
2007 107,986 34,572 2,521 2,510 4,557 151,679 71.2% 22.8%
2008 112,803 34,860 2,511 2,534 4,670 156,923 71.9% 22.2%
2009 116,599 35,253 2,514 2,517 4,644 161,042 72.4% 21.9%
2010 120,673 36,221 2,511 2,535 4,832 166,255 72.6% 21.8%
2011 121,520 35,247 2,596 2,469 5,030 166,296 73.1% 21.2%
2012 125,409 36,041 2,610 2,371 5,098 170,940 73.4% 21.1%
2013 126,999 34,927 2,602 2,350 5,255 171,444 74.1% 20.4%
2014 130,576 35,965 2,814 2,366 5,424 176,427 74.1% 20.4%
2015 131,577 35,811 2,644 2,383 5,348 177,099 74.3% 20.2%

According to research culled by Haaretz, between the mid-1980s and 2000, the birth rate in the Muslim sector was stable at 4.6–4.7 children per woman; After 2001 a gradual decline became evident, reaching 3.51 children per woman in 2011. By point of comparison, in 2011 there was a slowly rising birthrate of 2.98 children among the Jewish population.[59]

Births and deaths [60]

Year Population (x1000) Live births Deaths Natural increase Crude birth rate Crude death rate Rate of natural increase TFR
2009 7 552 161 042 38 812 122 230 21,5 5,2 16,3 2,962
2010 7 695 166 255 39 613 126 642 21,8 5,2 16,6 3,029
2011 7 836 166 296 40 889 125 407 21,4 5,3 16,1 3,004
2012 7 984 170 940 42 100 128 840 21,6 5,3 16,3 3,052
2013 8 134 171 444 41 683 129 761 21,3 5,2 16,1 3,03
2014 8 296 176 427 42 389 134 038 21,5 5,2 16,3 3,08

Structure of the population [61]

Structure of the population (01.07.2012) (Estimates) :

Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 3 916 125 3 994 400 7 910 525 100
0-4 417 479 397 686 815 165 10,30
5-9 377 005 358 520 735 525 9,30
10-14 346 662 329 776 676 438 8,55
15-19 314 286 299 211 613 497 7,76
20-24 300 332 289 936 590 268 7,46
25-29 291 710 287 934 579 644 7,33
30-34 276 871 278 321 555 191 7,02
35-39 268 377 270 934 539 311 6,82
40-44 232 269 236 767 469 036 5,93
45-49 201 080 206 786 407 867 5,16
50-54 189 222 201 916 391 138 4,94
55-59 179 379 194 732 374 111 4,73
60-64 165 789 183 357 349 146 4,41
65-69 115 943 130 457 246 400 3,11
70-74 89 904 103 747 188 651 2,38
75-79 68 016 88 979 156 994 1,98
80-84 46 204 67 535 113 739 1,44
85-89 26 669 45 650 72 319 0,91
90-94 10 499 16 451 26 950 0,34
95-99 2 418 4 374 6 792 0,09
100+ 1 012 1 331 2 342 0,03
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0-14 1 141 146 1 085 982 2 227 128 28,15
15-64 2 419 314 2 449 894 4 869 208 61,55
65+ 355 665 458 524 814 189 10,29

Death rate

  • 5.42 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)

There were a total of 38,666 deaths in 2006. (39,026 in 2005 & 37,688 in 2000). Of this 33,568 were Jews (34,031 in 2005 & 33,421 in 2000). 3,078 were Muslims (2,968 in 2005 & 2,683 in 2000). 360 were Druze (363 in 2005 & 305 in 2000). 712 were Christian (686 in 2005 & 666 in 2000).[citation needed]

Net migration rate

  • 1.81 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)

There were a total of 26,500 immigrants who made Aliyah to Israel in 2014: 11,430 from the Former Soviet Union, 7,000 from France, 3,470 from the United States, 620 from the United Kingdom, 400 from Canada, 340 from Italy, 300 from Brazil, 297 from Argentina, 240 from Belgium, 232 from Eastern Europe (including 126 from Hungary), 200 from Australia and New Zealand, 190 from South Africa, 120 from Germany, 76 from Mexico, 70 from Venezuela, 62 from Colombia, 58 from Uruguay, and 52 from Chile.[62]


For many years definitive data on Israeli emigration was unavailable.[63] In The Israeli Diaspora sociologist Stephen J. Gold maintains that calculation of Jewish emigration has been a contentious issue, explaining, "Since Zionism, the philosophy that underlies the existence of the Jewish state, calls for return home of the world's Jews, the opposite movement—Israelis leaving the Jewish state to reside elsewhere—clearly presents an ideological and demographic problem."[64]

In the past several decades, emigration (yerida) has seen a considerable increase. From 1990 to 2005, 230,000 Israelis left the country; a large proportion of these departures included people who initially immigrated to Israel and then reversed their course (48% of all post-1990 departures and even 60% of 2003 and 2004 departures were former immigrants to Israel). 8% of Jewish immigrants in the post-1990 period left Israel, while 15% of non-Jewish immigrants did. In 2005 alone, 21,500 Israelis left the country and had not yet returned at the end of 2006; among them 73% were Jews, 5% Arabs, and 22% "Others" (mostly non-Jewish immigrants, with Jewish ancestry, from USSR). At the same time, 10,500 Israelis came back to Israel after over one year abroad; 84% were Jews, 9% Others, and 7% Arabs.[65]

According to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, as of 2005, 650,000 Israelis had left the country for over one year and not returned. Of them, 530,000 are still alive today. This number does not include the children born overseas. It should also be noted that Israeli law grants citizenship only to the first generation of children born to Israeli emigrants.


Population density per square kilometer, by district and sub-district

Geographic deployment:

Sex ratio

  • At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • 15–64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
  • Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

  • 7 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate

  • Total: 4.03 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Male: 4.20 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Female: 3.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

  • Total population: 81.17 years
  • Male: 79.7 years
  • Female: 83.6 years (2011)

Between 1990 and 2011, life expectancy at birth increased by 5 years for women (both Jews and Arabs), 5.4 years for Jewish men, and 3.2 years for Arab men.[66]

Total fertility rate

  • 3.11 children born/woman (2014)
Fertility rate, by year and religion[59]
Year Jews Muslims Christians Druze Others Total
2010 2.97 3.75 2.14 2.48 1.64 3.03
2011 2.98 3.51 2.19 2.33 1.75 3.00
2012 3.04 3.54 2.17 2.26 1.68 3.05
2013 3.05 3.35 2.13 2.21 1.68 3.03
2014 3.11 3.35 2.27 2.20 1.72 3.08

Jewish total fertility rate increased by 10.2% during 1998–2009, and was recorded at 2.90 during 2009. During the same time period, Arab TFR decreased by 20.5%. Muslim TFR was measured at 3.73 for 2009. During 2000, the Arab TFR in Jerusalem (4.43) was higher than that of the Jews residing there (3.79). But as of 2009, Jewish TFR in Jerusalem was measured higher than the Arab TFR (2010: 4.26 vs 3.85, 2009: 4.16 vs 3.87). TFR for Arab residents in the West Bank was measured at 2.91 in 2013,[67] while that for the Jewish residents was reported at 5.10 children per woman.[68]

The ethnic group with highest recorded TFR is the Bedouin of Negev. Their TFR was reported at 10.06 in 1998 and 5.73 in 2009. TFR is also very high among Haredi Jews. For Ashkenazi Haredim, the TFR rose from 6.91 in 1980 to 8.51 in 1996. The figure for 2008 is estimated to be even higher. TFR for Sephardi/Mizrahi Haredim rose from 4.57 in 1980 to 6.57 in 1996.[69]

Health expenditures

  • 7.6% of total GDP (2010)

Physicians density

  • 3.63 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density

  • 3.5 beds/1,000 population (2010)

HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate

  • 0.2% (2009 est.)

Obesity – adult prevalence rate

  • 26% of women and 40% of men are overweight. In both genders, obesity rate is 15% (as of 2011).[66]

Education expenditures

  • 5.9% of total GDP (2009)


Age 15 and over can read and write:

  • Total population: 97.1%
  • Male: 98.5%
  • Female: 95.9% (2004 est.)

Future projections

In June 2013, the Central Bureau of Statistics released a demographic report, projecting that Israel's population would grow to 11.4 million by 2035, with the Jewish population numbering 8.3 million, or 73% of the population, and the Arab population at 2.6 million, or 23%. This includes some 2.3 million Muslims (20% of the population), 185,000 Druze, and 152,000 Christians. The report predicts that the Israeli population growth rate will decline to 1.4% annually, with growth in the Muslim population remaining higher than the Jewish population until 2035, at which point the Jewish population will begin growing the fastest.[70]

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Further reading

External links