Photo: Getty Images, Bank of Israel
146,000 babies
Photo: Getty Images, Bank of Israel
20,000 immigrants
Photo: Niv Calderon
Statistics report: Less enlisting to army
Report by Central Bureau of Statistics reveals growing population, more poverty among children, less enlisting to army
The Central Bureau of Statistics published its annual report on Thursday, just before the start of 2007.


The data revealed that at the end of 2006, 76 percent of Israel's residents were Jewish (5,393,600 people) 20 percent were Arabs (1,413,500 people) and 4 percent were of other nationalities (309,100 people).


Israel's population growth rate for 2006 was 1.8 percent. A similar rate has been recorded since 2003 up to 2005. During the year, some 146,300 babies were born.


During 2006 some 19,900 new immigrants arrived in Israel, similar to the number of new immigrants in the years 2004 and 2005.


In total, Israel's population was increased by some 125,000 people in 2006, most a result of natural reproduction (88 percent) and the rest (12 percent) were immigrants.


More poor children, less enlisting to army 

On Wednesday, The National Council for the Child presented its 2006 annual statistics report containing information on Israel's youth.


The report revealed that more than a third of Israeli children are living under the poverty line. The data showed that in the year 2005, 35 percent of the children living in Israel were considered poor, as opposed to 33 percent in the previous year.


A drop in the percentage of teenagers enlisting to the army has also been recorded, out of all the candidates for military service the percentage has dropped to below 78 percent.


Eighty percent of the youth own a mobile phone and the favorite pastime for 82 percent of the youth is going out to shopping malls.


The National Council for the Child's data reported that by the end of 2005 there were 2,326,400 children living in Israel. Although in the previous years an increase in the number of children in the population has been recorded, a drop in their percentage of the whole population has also been noted.


While in 1907 children made up 39.2 percent of the population, in 2005 they only made up 33.3 percent. This drop occurred in all population groups, including the Muslim population, where a drop from 58.7 percent in 1970, to 48.8 percent in 2005 was recorded.


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