Ethnic groups in Israel

Demographics of Israel
Israel since 1949
Population 8,012,400 (97th)
Density 377/km2 (35th)
Growth rate 1.87% [1]
Birth rate 21.4 births/1,000 population (101st)
Death rate 5.52 deaths/1,000 population (174th)
Life expectancy 81.17 years (18th)
 • male 78.96 years
 • female 83.49 years
Fertility rate 3.00 children born/woman (76th)
Infant mortality rate 4.03 deaths/1,000 live births (199th)
Age structure
0-14 years 27.3%
15-64 years 62.2%
65-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-over 0.78 male(s)/female
Nationality Israelis
Major ethnic Jews, Arabs
Minor ethnic Druze, Maronites, Armenians, Kurd
Official Hebrew, Arabic
Spoken English, Russian

The demography of Israel is monitored by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. The State of Israel has a population of approximately 8,012,400 inhabitants as of 31 March 2013.[2] 75.4 percent of them are Jewish (about 6,037,700 individuals), 20.6 percent are Arabs (about 1,656,600 individuals), while the remaining 4 percent (about 318,100 individuals) are defined as "others" (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).


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.

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 since 1948 6,674[3] 6,674[3] 0 0 20,582[3] 20,582[3]
East Jerusalem Occupied by Israel in 1967 and, according to the Jerusalem Law, annexed in 1980 183[4] 7,129[3] 225 (double counted)[5] 225[3] 336[6] 20,918[3]
Golan Heights Occupied by Israel in 1967 and, according to the Golan Heights Law, annexed in 1981 42[7] 7,172[7] n.a. (Syrians) n.a. 1,154[8] 22,072[8]
Seam Zone Area between the Green Line and the West Bank barrier, occupied by Israel in 1967 188[9] 7,359[3] 35[9] 260[3] 200[6] 22,272[3]
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[3] 7,473[7] 115[10] 375[3] 2,961[11] 25,233[3]
Palestinian National Authority (West Bank Areas A and B) Israeli-Palestinian control, according to the administrative divisions of the Oslo Accords 0 7,473[3] 2,311[12] 2,686[3] 2,143[10] 27,376[3]
Gaza Strip Palestinian governed area. Israel controls airspace, maritime border and 80% of land border. 0 7,473[3] 1,552[13] 4,238[3] 360[13] 27,736[3]


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.[14] 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. Template:Largest cities of Israel

Ethnic and religious groups

Further information: Israelis

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


Main article: Israeli Jews

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.[2] Among them, 70.3 percent were Sabras (Israeli-born), 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.[15]

The ethnic division of The Jewish population of Israel (including non-Halachic Russians) as of 2009 is as follows.

Ethnic Makeup of Jewish Population of Israel[15]
TOTAL 5,818,000 100%
Mizrahi Jews and Sephardic Jews 2,721,000 50.2%
Morocco 800,000 15.2%
Iraq 204,000 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%
South 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%
South 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).


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 also differ significantly. Professor Arnon Soffer found that in 2007 there 110,000 Jewish babies were born of which only around 18,000 to secular families.


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 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 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.[16] 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, numbering 122,000—a majority group of Christians in Israel. As of 2008, Arab citizens of Israel comprise just over 20 percent of the country's total population. About 82.6 percent of the Arab population in Israel is Sunni Muslim (with a very small minority of Shia), another 9 percent is Druze, and around 9 percent is Christian (mostly Eastern Orthodox and Catholic denominations).


Main article: Negev Bedouin

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.[17]

Other Arabic-speaking groups


Main article: Israeli Druze

The Arab citizens of Israel include also the Druze who were numbered at an estimated 129,800 at the end of 2011.[18] 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",[19] 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.


Main article: Maronites in Israel

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 Palestine in villages such as Jish long before the establishment of Israel in 1948. In recent years, the community was joined by some former pro-Israeli Lebanese militia members and their families, who fled Lebanon after 2000 withdrawal of IDF from South Lebanon.


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

Other citizens


Main article: Samaritans

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.


Main article: Armenians 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.[20]


Main article: Circassians in Israel

In Israel, there are also a few thousand Circassians, living mostly in Kfar Kama (2,000) and Reyhaniye (1,000).[21] 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.


Main article: Assyrians in Israel

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.

People from post-Soviet states

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. 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 decedents, a small number of Finnish Christians moved to Israel in the 1940s before the independence and have since then gained citizenship following the independence, for the most part many of the original Finnish settlers intermarried with the other Israeli communities in the country, and therefore remain very small in number, A moshav near Jerusalem named "Yad Ha'Shmona"" meaning the Memorial for the eight or the hand 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.[22][23]


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. 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 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 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 they do receive social benefits from the state including free healthcare. Most believe in Jesus and the New Testament however one member of the community underwent a conversion to Orthodox Judaism and served in the Israeli army.

Naturalized foreign workers

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


African refugees

Further information: Sudanese refugees in Israel and Illegal immigration from Africa to Israel

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 recent check (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, Kurdistan and North Korea who were absorbed in Israel as refugees, most of them were also given Israeli resident status and currently reside in Israel.[24]


Main article: Languages of Israel

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, Vietnamese, Thai, Tagalog and Polish are the most commonly used other foreign languages. 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.


Main article: Religion in Israel

According to a 2010 Israel Central Bureau of Statistics study[25] 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 birth rate of religious and traditionalists over seculars, the share of religious and traditionalists among the overall population is even higher.

Religious makeup, 2011[18]
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%


Main article: Education in Israel

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 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.


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.[26][27]

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).[28] Critics, including the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,[29] 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.[30]

Russian immigration

Further information: Russian immigration to Israel in the 1970s and Russian immigration to Israel in the 1990s

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.[31]


Total population

  • 8,051,200 (June 2013)[2]

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 Banks and Gaza Does not include 222,000 foreigners living in the country.[32]

Age structure


  • 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 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. 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)[33] followed by Bedouin towns in the Negev (15.2).[34]

Population growth rate

  • 1.8% (2012)

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.[18]

Birth rate

  • 21.4 births/1,000 population (May 2013)
Births, by mother[35]
Year Jewish Muslim Christian Druze Total
1996 83,710 30,802 2,678 2,682 121,333
2000 91,936 35,740 2,789 2,708 136,390
2005 100,657 34,217 2,487 2,533 143,913
2006 104,513 34,337 2,500 2,601 148,170
2007 107,986 34,572 2,521 2,510 151,679
2008 112,803 34,860 2,511 2,534 156,923
2009 116,599 35,253 2,514 2,517 161,042
2010 120,673 36,221 2,511 2,535 166,255
2011 121,520 35,247 2,596 2,469 166,296
2012 125,409 36,041 2,610 2,371 170,940

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.[36]

Death rate

  • 5.52 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).

Net migration rate

  • 1.81 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 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.[37] 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."[38]

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.[39]

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.


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: 78.96 years
  • Female: 83.49 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate

  • 3.00 children born/woman (2011)
Fertility rate, by year and religion[36]
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

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,[40] while that for the Jewish residents was reported at 5.10 children per woman.[41]

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 to 8.51 in 1996 from 6.91 in 1980. 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.[42]\

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

  • 26.2% (2008)

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.[43]

See also

Israel portal
Sociology portal


Further reading

External links

  • Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
  • Jewish Virtual Library
  • Tourism Ministry
  • The World Factbook
  • Jewish Agency for Israel
  • DMOZ
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