Demographics of Israel

Demographics of Israel
Total population
(As of 2011)
Life expectancy at birth
(As of 2008)
Men – 79.1
Women – 83.0
Density 321 persons / km2.
91% urban population

Distribution of the Jewish
population by Place of Birth:

68.8% were born in Israel
21.6% were born in Europe and America
9.6% born in Asia and Africa

Annual growth 1.85% (2011)
Jews 76%
Muslims 16%
Others (mostly those not classified
as affiliated with religion)
Syriac Christians 2%
Druze 2%
Universities 8
University students 250,456
Literacy 95.5%

Men – 97.5%
Women – 93.5%

Hospitals 44
Doctors 25,000
Infant Mortality 4.3 to 1000 births
Jews 3.1
Arabs 7.7

The State of Israel has a population of approximately 7,798,600 inhabitants as of September 2011.[1] 75.3% of them are Jewish (about 5,865,300 individuals), 20.5% are Arabs (About 1,597,300 individuals), while the remaining 4.3% (about 318,200 individuals) are defined as "others" (family members of Jewish immigrants who are not registered at the Interior Ministry as Jews, non-Arab Christians, non-Arab Muslims and residents who do not have a religious classification).



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 and Gaza Strip, it defines the population of Israel to also include Israeli settlers living in the West Bank. The situation is further complicated by the Israeli West Bank barrier, which has separated certain parts of the West Bank such that they have become contiguous with sovereign Israel.

Population (thousands) Area (km2)
Name Status Description Israeli Citizens (Including Jews and Arabs) Cumulative Total Non-Israeli Palestinians Cumulative Total Area Cumulative Total
Israel (Green Line) Area sovereign to Israel since 1948 6,674[2] 6,674[2] 0 0 20,582[2] 20,582[2]
East Jerusalem Subject to Israeli law. Occupied in 1967, formally annexed in 1980 (see Jerusalem Law) 455[3] 7,129[2] 225 (double counted)[4] 225[2] 336[5] 20,918[2]
Golan Heights Subject to Israeli law. Occupied in 1967, formally annexed in 1981 (see Golan Heights Law) 42[6] 7,172[6] n.a. n.a. (Syrians) 1,154[7] 22,072[7]
Seam Zone (West Bank) Area between the Green Line and the Israeli West Bank barrier. Occupied in 1967 188[8] 7,359[2] 35[8] 260[2] 200[5] 22,272[2]
Other Israeli Settlements and IDF Military Areas (West Bank Area C) Other Israeli settlements (not in East Jerusalem or the Seam Zone) and areas in the West Bank directly controlled by the IDF . Occupied in 1967 57[2] 7,473[6] 115[9] 375[2] 2,961[10] 25,233[2]
Palestinian civil control (West Bank Areas A+B) Palestinian National Authority civil controlled area. Subject to "joint" military control with the IDF. Occupied in 1967 0 7,473[2] 2,311[11] 2,686[2] 2,143[9] 27,376[2]
Gaza Strip Palestinian governed area. Israel controls airspace, maritime border and 80% of land border. Occupied in 1967, unilaterally disengaged in 2005, declared a foreign entity in 2007. 0 7,473[2] 1,552[12] 4,238[2] 360[12] 27,736[2]

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:


According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2008, of Israel's 7.3 million people, 75.6% were Jews of any background.[1] Among them, 70.3% were Sabras (Israeli-born), mostly second- or third-generation Israelis, and the rest are olim (Jewish immigrants to Israel) – 20.5% from Europe and the Americas, and 9.2% from Asia and Africa, including the Arab countries.[13]

The ethnic division of The Jewish population of Israel (including non Halackic Russians) as of 2008 is as follows.

Ethnic Makeup of Jewish Population of Israel[citation needed]
TOTAL 5,818,000 100%
Mizrahi Jews and Sephardic Jews 2,921,000 50.2%
Morocco 800,000 15.2%
Iraq 404,000 7.7%
Yemen 295,000 4.9%
Iran 236,000 4.0%
Algeria/Tunisia 224,000 3.8%
Other Asia 150,000 2.5%
Turkey 147,000 2.5%
Libya 136,000 2.3%
Egypt 112,000 1.9%
Other Asia 200,000 1.7%
India/Pakistan 76,000 1.3%
Latin America 25,000 0.04%
Other Africa (Not South Africa) 3,000 0.05%
Beta Israel (Ethiopia) 130,000 2.2%
Ashkenazi Jews 2,767,000 47.5%
Russia 1,018,000 20.9%
Poland 400,000 8.3%
Romania 351,000 7.6%
Other Europe 168,000 3.7%
North America (Including 4,000 African American Black Hebrews) 165,000 2.8%
Germany/Austria 160,000 2.7%
Bulgaria/Greece 97,000 1.9%
Latin America 82,000 1.4%
Hungary 63,000 1.3%
Czechoslovakia 60,000 1.2%
South Africa 20,000 0.4%

The errors occurring due to these calculations were:

  • There was no distinction made between Sephardim and Ashkenazim. (If the Sephardim, Mountain Jews and other non-Ashkenazi groups are included in Mizrachim, then Mizrachim will outnumber Ashkenazim 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 Ashkenazim until 1996 (until 1996, Central Asia and the Caucasian Republics were counted as part of Europe. After 1996, from 1997 onwards they were counted as part of Asia).
  • The Harbin Jews (~1,000) from China counted as Mizrachim, although they were Russian speaking Ashkenazim.
  • After 1996, Russian speaking Ashkenazim from Kazakhstan, Kyrghizia and Armenia counted as Mizrachim.
  • Close to 20,000 South African Jews were classified as Mizrachim, although almost all of them are Ashkenazim (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).


Map of Arab population in 2000.

Arab citizens of Israel are those Arabs who remained within Israel's borders following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the establishment of the state of Israel, including those born within the state borders subsequent to this time, as well as those who had left during the exodus (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% of Israel’s population. This figure include 209,000 Arabs (14% of the Israeli-Arab population) in east Jerusalem, also counted in the Palestinian statistics, although 98% of East Jerusalem Palestinians have either Israeli residency or Israeli citizenship.[14]

Most Arab citizens of Israel are Muslim, particularly of the Sunni branch of Islam, and there is a significant Arab Christian minority from various denominations, as well as Arab Druze, among other religious communities.

As of 2008, Arab citizens of Israel comprise just over 20% of the country's total population. About 82.6% of the Arab population in Israel is Sunni Muslim (with a very small minority of Shia), another 9% is Druze, and around 9% is Christian (mostly Eastern Orthodox and Catholic denominations).


The Arab 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 Foreign Affairs Minister of Israel, currently, 110,000 Bedouins live in the Negev, 50,000 in the Galilee and 10,000 in the central region of Israel.[15]


The Arab citizens of Israel include also the Druze who were numbered at an estimated 117,500 at the end of 2006.[16] 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",[17] most Druze do not consider themselves to be Palestinian, and consider their Israeli identity stronger than their Arab identity; indeed, 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.


The Maronite Christian community in Israel of several thousands resides mostly in Galilee. It is largely composed of former pro-Israeli Lebanese militia members and their families, who fled Lebanon after 2000 withdrawal of IDF from South Lebanon, though some originate from local Galilee communities, like one in Jish.

Non-Arab and Non-Jew citizens

African Hebrew Israelites

The African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem is a small spiritual group 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 Judaism does not consider them to be Jewish. Their ancestors were African Americans who after several years in Liberia migrated to Israel in the late 1960s.

African Refugees

The number and status of African refugees in Israel is disputed and controversial but it is estimated that at least 16,000 refugees mainly from Eritrea, Sudan, Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast reside and work in Israel.


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.[18]


There are around 1,000 ethnic 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.


In Israel, there are also a few thousand Circassians, living mostly in Kfar Kama (2,000) and Reyhaniye (1,000).[19] 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.


Some Eastern European Roma are known to have arrived in Israel in the late 1940s and early 1950s, being from Bulgaria or having intermarried with Jews in the post-WWII displaced persons camps or, in some cases, having pretended to be Jews when Zionist representatives arrived in those camps. The exact numbers of these Romanies living in Israel are unknown, since such individuals tended to assimilate into the Israeli Jewish environment. According to several recent accounts in the Israeli press, some families preserve traditional Romani lullabies and a small number of Romani expressions and curse words, and pass them on to generations born in Israel who, for the most part, are Jews and speak Hebrew.[citation needed] The Romani community in Israel has grown since the 1990s, as some Roma immigrated there from the former Soviet Union. A community related to the Romanies and living in Israel and the Palestinian territories and in neighboring countries are known as Dom people.


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 number of Vietnamese people in Israel is estimated as 200. 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 Israel.


Smaller prominent ethnic and religious groups, who currently live in the Israel and whom are Israeli citizens or nationals, include:

  • Non-Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union many of whom are ethnic Ukrainians and Moldovans 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 ethnic groups from the Former Soviet Union such as Tatars, Poles and Siberian Yupiks (Siberian Eskimos) among others which can also be found in different towns in Israel
  • Some naturalized foreign workers and their Israeli born children: predominantly from the Philippines, Nepal, Nigeria, Romania, China, Cyprus, Turkey Thailand, India, and Latin America.
  • Some former British Mandate soldiers who married Israeli women prior to or after the declaration of the state and their descendants
  • Ethiopian Christians
  • Copts
  • Haitians
  • Approximately 100-200 Refugees from Bosnia, Kosovo and Kurdistan who were absorbed in Israel as refugees, most of them were also given Israeli citizenship and currently reside in Israel

Religious affiliation

Religious Makeup of Israel (end of 2008)[20]
Religion Population % of total
Jewish &100000000055692000000005,569,200 75.5%
Muslim &100000000012400000000001,240,000 16.8%
Christian &10000000000153100000000153,100 2.1%
Druze &10000000000121900000000121,900 1.7%
Unclassified by choice &10000000000289800000000289,800 3.9%
Year Jews Muslims Muslim Percentage
1950 1,203.0 116.1 8.80%
1972 2,752.7 360.6 11.58%
1995 4,522.3 811.2 15.21%
2000 4,955.4 970.0 16.73%

According to a 2010 Israel Central Bureau of Statistics study[21] on 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 natality rate of religious and traditionalists over seculars, the share of religious and traditionalists among the overall population is even higher.


Population growth (1949–2008)

Total population


  • Total: 7,797,400[1]
  • 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 222,000 foreigners living in the country.[22]

Population in Israel increased from 1990 to 2008 with 2.6 million and 56 % growth in population.[23]

Population in Israel [23]
Year Million
1971 3.09
1980 3.90
1990 4.68
2000 6.29
2004 6.91
2008 7.31
2011 7.80
Source: OECD/World Bank, Israeli CBS 2011

Sex ratio


  • At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • 15–64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
  • Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female

Age Structure

(2010) Total:

  • 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%

Median Age

  • Total: 29.4
  • Jewish: 31.6
  • Arab: 21.1

The Jewish median age in Jerusalem district and Judea and Samaria (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

Note 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)[24] followed by Bedouin towns in the Negev (14.9)[25]

Population growth rate


  • Total population growth rate: 1.9%[26]

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 2.6%, while the growth rate of the Jewish population in Israel is 1.7%. The growth rate of both the Jewish and Arab population has slowed from 3.8% in 1999 to 2.6% in 2008 for Arab and 2.7% to 1.7% for the Jewish population. The fastest growing segment of population are Arab Muslims with the latest growth rate of 2.8% for 2008.[20]


  • Geographic Deployment (2005):
  • Total 100% (6,990,700 people)
  • 12% of the Jerusalem district (851,400)
  • 17% North District (1,185,400)
  • 12% of the Haifa district (858,000)
  • 24% Central District (1,649,800)
  • 17% of the Tel Aviv District (1,190,000)
  • 14% Southern Region (1,002,400)
  • 4% of Judea, Samaria (Jews only) (247,300)
Population density per square kilometer, by districts and sub-districts
District / Sub-district 1948 1961 1972 1983 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006
Total 43.1 107.6 154.8 186.7 220.4 247.4 278.7 305.2 310.5
Jerusalem District 159.5 344.5 554.0 754.2 922.4 1,035.6 1,163.0 1,303.8 1,332.4
Tel Aviv District 1,834.0 4,113.5 5,336.7 5,883.8 6,439.4 6,678.6 6,747.2 6,918.5 6,997.2
Haifa District 209.2 433.6 566.5 673.7 768.4 860.9 948.4 990.8 998.0
Haifa Sub-District 452.4 976.0 1,260.5 1,447.2 1,623.1 1,701.0 1,800.8 1,797.6 1,796.9
Hadera Sub-District 88.6 164.8 222.6 290.3 344.7 433.6 514.8 576.1 587.3
Central District 100.4 327.8 466.7 668.8 830.7 953.2 1,142.4 1,275.0 1,306.6
Sharon Sub-District 108.2 294.7 412.3 547.1 678.4 790.8 924.0 1,044.0 1,069.6
Petah Tikva Sub-District 175.6 480.6 714.0 1,047.5 1,316.0 1,502.3 1,733.6 1,992.2 2,043.9
Ramla Sub-District 14.4 218.9 286.0 351.5 394.6 483.6 663.8 767.9 790.5
Rechovot Sub-District 109.8 334.6 484.0 782.3 1,002.7 1,150.2 1,374.5 1,427.1 1,457.3
North District 44.2 101.4 142.3 145.7 178.9 211.4 241.9 265.0 269.0
Safad Sub-District 16.4 67.9 84.4 96.6 110.8 122.8 135.2 145.4 146.2
Kinneret Sub-District 38.2 83.1 95.2 120.2 142.9 154.8 179.3 184.0 185.4
Jezreel Sub-District 50.3 100.4 145.1 194.2 237.5 286.5 327.6 356.0 361.0
Acre Sub-District 59.6 136.8 206.6 295.2 369.8 440.3 506.3 567.9 578.4
Golan Sub-District 16.8 22.1 26.2 30.2 33.7 34.5
Southern District 1.5 12.3 25.1 33.9 40.7 53.0 63.2 70.7 72.0
Ashkelon Sub-District 5.89 60.3 120.3 160.2 187.3 261.3 316.0 353.2 359.9
Be'er Sheva Sub-District 1.1 7.6 15.7 21.4 26.1 32.4 38.1 43.0 43.8

Crude birth rate

20.8 births/1,000 population (2005)

Year Total births[27] Jewish mothers Muslim mothers Druze mothers Christian mothers
1996 121,333 83,710 30,802 2,682 2,678
2000 136,390 91,936 35,740 2,708 2,789
2005 143,913 100,657 34,217 2,533 2,487
2006 148,170 104,513 34,337 2,601 2,500
2007 151,679 107,986 34,572 2,510 2,521
2008 156,923 112,803 34,860 2,534 2,511
2009 161,042 116,599 35,253 2,517 2,514
2010 166,255 120,673 36,221 2,535 2,511

According to research culled by Haaretz, between the mid-1980s and 2000, the birthrate in the Muslim sector was stable at 4.6–4.7 children per woman; After 2001 a gradual decline became evident, reaching 3.75 children per woman in 2010. By point of comparison, in 2010 there was a slowly rising birthrate of 2.97 children among the Jewish population.[26]

Crude death rate

6.18 deaths/1,000 population (2006 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

3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

There were a total of 19,269 immigrants in 2006: 7,472 from the Former Soviet Union, 3,595 from Ethiopia, 2,411 from France, 2,159 from the United States, 594 from the United Kingdom, 304 from India, 293 from Argentina, 232 from Brazil, 228 from Canada, 142 from Colombia, 134 from Venezuela, 114 from South Africa, 112 from Germany, 91 from Belgium, 91 from Central America, 85 from Switzerland, 73 from Uruguay, 72 from Mexico, 66 from Oceania, 63 from Hungary, 61 from Chile, 50 from Romania and 50 from the Netherlands.


For many years definitive data on Israeli emigration was unavailable.[28] 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."[29]

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.[30]

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.

Infant mortality rate

  • Total: 6.89 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Male: 7.61 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Female: 6.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (2006)

  • Total population: 79.46 years
  • Male: 77.33 years
  • Female: 81.7 years

Total fertility rate (2010)

In Israel, the total fertility rate (TFR) is 3.03 children born per woman.

TFR was 2.97 for Jews (2.90 in 2009, 2.88 in 2008, 2.69 in 2005, 2.67 in 2000), 3.75 for Muslims (3.73 in 2009, 3.84 in 2008, 4.03 in 2005, 4.57 in 2000), 2.48 for Druze (2.49 in 2009, 2.49 in 2008, 2.59 in 2005, 2.87 in 2000), 2.14 for Christians (2.15 in 2009, 2.11 in 2008, 2.15 in 2005, 2.35 in 2000) and 1.56 for Others (1.57 in 2008, 1.49 in 2005, 1.55 in 2000).

TFR is very high among Haredi Jews. For Ashkenazi Haredim, the TFR rose to 8.51 in 1996 from 6.91 in 1980. The figure for 2008 is estimated to be even higher. TFR for Sephardi/Mizrachi Haredim rose from 4.57 in 1980 to 6.57 in 1996.[31]

Jewish TFR 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.[32] 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. 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 3.05 in 2010[33] , while that for the Jewish residents was reported at 5.10 children per woman.[34]


Signs in Israel 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, Amharic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Ladino, French, Persian, Hungarian, Spanish, German, Vietnamese, Thai, Tagalog and Polish are the most commonly used 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.


The definition of literacy: Age 15 and over can read and write.

  • Total population: 95.4%
  • Male: 97.3%
  • Female: 93.6% (2003 est.)

Education between ages 5 and 15 is compulsory. It is not free, but it subsidized by the government, individual organizations (such as the Beit Yaakov System) or a combination. Parents are expected to participate in costs 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. See Education in israel and the List of universities and colleges in Israel for more information.

Israeli demographic policy

Comparison of the changes in percentages of the main religious group in Israel between the years 1949–2008

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.

According to Jewish National Fund Board member Daniel Orenstein, Israel is the second most-densely crowded country in the developed world. In an academic article, 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.[35][36]

Russian immigration

During the 1970s about 163,000 people 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.[37]

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).[38] Critics, including the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,[39] 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.[40]

See also


  1. ^ a b c [1], Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, CBS
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Figure calculated from other sourced figures in table
  3. ^ Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. "Jerusalem Statistical Yearbook 2009/10". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Middle East Forum. "The Politics of Palestinian Demography". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "Barrier Report July 2009. Calculation based on East Jerusalem area of 346km2 being 97% west of the barrier, and 9.5% of the West bank including East Jerusalem being in the Seam Zone". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. "Israeli Census data". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. "Israeli statistical Area data". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  8. ^ a b B'Tselem. "Separation Barrier Statistics". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. "Area C Humanitarian Response Plan Fact Sheet September 2010. Assumes 35,000 Palestinians estimated by B'Tselem to be living in the Seam Zone are included in the 150,000 OCHA estimate.". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  10. ^ CIA World Factbook. "West Bank population. Based on total area of 5,640km2 including East Jerusalem and excluding water. Figure shown calculated from other figures sourced on page.". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  11. ^ CIA World Factbook. "West Bank population. Assumes CIA World Factbook number excludes Israeli settlers but includes estiamted 225k Palestinians living in East Jerusalem". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  12. ^ a b CIA World Factbook. "Gaza Strip population. Excludes Israeli settlers, but includes estimated 225k Non-Israeli Palestinians in East Jerusalem". Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  13. ^ Statistical Abstract of Israel, 2009, CBS. "Table 2.24 – Jews, by country of origin and age" (PDF). Retrieved 22 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Selected Statistics on Jerusalem Day 2007 (Hebrew)". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 14 May 2007. 
  15. ^ The Bedouin in Israel: Demography Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1 July 1999
  16. ^ Table 2.2, Statistical Abstract of Israel 2007, No. 58.
  17. ^ Yoav Stern & Jack Khoury (2 May 2007). "Balad's MK-to-be: 'Anti-Israelization' Conscientious Objector". Haaretz. Retrieved 29 July 2007. For example, Said Nafa, a self-identified "Palestinian Druze" serves as the head of the Balad party's national council and founded the "Pact of Free Druze" in 2001, an organization that aims ";to stop the conscription of the Druze and claims the community is an inalienable part of the Arabs in Israel and the Palestinian nation at large."
  18. ^ Joyce M. Davis. Jerusalem’s Armenian Quarter. Catholic Near East Welfare Association.
  19. ^ "Circassians in Israel". Circassian World. 
  20. ^ a b Statistical Abstract of Israel, 2009, CBS. "Table 2.2 – Population, by religion" (PDF). Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  21. ^,7340,L-3890330,00.html
  22. ^ הודעות לעיתונות. Retrieved on 8 September 2011.
  23. ^ a b CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion Population 1971-2008 IEA (pdf pages 83-85)
  24. ^ [2] Blogpost of the Jerusalem Institute for the Study of Israel
  25. ^ [3] CBS data for 2011
  26. ^ a b Statistical Abstract of Israel, 2011, CBS. "Table 3.13 – Fertility rates, by age and religion" (PDF). Retrieved 05 Oct 2011. 
  27. ^ Central Bureau of Statistics, Vital Statistics: Live births
  28. ^ Henry Kamm. "Israeli emigration inspires anger and fear;" New York Times 4 January 1981
  29. ^ Stephen J. Gold. The Israeli Diaspora; Routledge 2002, p.8
  30. ^ ICBS 2005 departures and returns. Retrieved on 8 September 2011.
  31. ^ TFR for Mizrahi Haredim[dead link]
  32. ^
  33. ^ [4] Indexmuni estimates for the West Bank 2011
  34. ^ שנתון 62 עבור 2011 Israeli CBS data for 2011
  35. ^ Orenstein, Daniel. "Population Growth and Environmental Impact: Ideology and Academic Discourse in Israel;" Population and Environment Volume 26, Number 1 / September, 2004
  36. ^ Daniel Orenstein and Steven Hamburg."The JNF's Assault on the Negev"; The Jerusalem Report, 28 November 2005
  37. ^ Prime Minister's Office: Sharon Bio. Retrieved on 8 September 2011.
  38. ^ Ben Lynfield. "Arab spouses face Israeli legal purge". The Scotsman (UK). 
  39. ^ "UN blasts Israeli marriage law". BBC News. 15 August 2003. 
  40. ^ "Israeli marriage law blocks citizenship for Palestinians". San Francisco Chronicle. 1 August 2003. 

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