Israel, for the first time since its establishment in 1948 boasts over 8 million citizens. 170,000 babies were born in 2012, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports as the Gregorian year comes to an end. 41,938 citizens were niftar in the outgoing year and the nation’s population grew by 1.8%, an additional 145,000 people.
75.4% of Israeli citizens are Jews, a bit over 6 million. 320,000 new immigrants arrived under the Law of Return, but they are not registered in the Interior Ministry as Jews. Most arrived from the former Soviet Union. 20.6% of Israelis are Arabs, 1.6 million people.
A tenth of the national population resides in Jerusalem, 804,400 residents. It is the largest city in the country, followed by Tel Aviv with 404,400 and Haifa with 270,300. Rishon L’tzion with 232,400 took fourth place, overtaking Beersheva and Ashdod. Ashdod is now in fifth place with 212,300 residents. Following a number of years with a significant population growth, Petach Tikvah has moved into sixth place with 210,400 residents.
The national population has grown tenfold since 1948, and the bureau reports that based on current trends, in 2030 there will be 9.6 – 10.6 million residents, which will include 7.2 million Jews and 2.4 million Arabs.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)