Data published Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reveals that on the eve of Rosh Hashanah 5773 (2012), the population of Israel numbers approximately 7,933,200– with 5,978,600 Jews, 1,636,600 Arabs, and approximately 318,000 persons categorized as "others".
In addition, there are some 203,000 foreign workers currently living in Israel.
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The data further revealed that at the end of 2011, Israel's population numbered 7.837 million: Of those, 5.907 million were Jews (75.4%), 1.611 million were Arabs (20.5%), and another 318,000 were Others (4.1%).
This means that the growth rate of the total population during 2011 was 1.8%, similar to the previous eight years. A similar rate of growth was prevalent in Israel during the 1980's, when there was a low rate of immigration.
In the 1990's, years with a high rate of immigration from the Former Soviet Union, the average rate of growth was approximately 3% per year.
In 2011, the rate of growth of the Jewish population was 1.8% (similar to previous years), of the Arab population – 2.4% (a decrease from 3.4% during 1996–2000). The population of "Others" was unchanged.
The rate of growth of the Moslem population was 2.5%, of the Christian population – 1.3%, and of the Druze population – 1.7%.
The Israeli population is considered a relatively younger population than that of Western countries.
In 2011, the percentage of children aged 0-14 in Israel was 28.2% and the percentage of those aged 65 and over was 10.3%, compared to 18.5% and 15% on average in OECD member countries, respectively.
The share of those aged 75 and over among the Israeli population grew moderately over the years: 4.8% in 2011, compared with 3.8% at the beginning of the nineties.
Among Jews, the share of those aged 75 and over was relatively higher (5.9% in 2011, compared with 4.4% at the beginning of the nineties).
In the Jewish population, the postponement of marriage is easily discernable in the CBS data which shows that there is a high percentage of people who have never married and are within the 25-29 age group.
In 2010, approximately 64.5% of the men and approximately 46.1% of the women were still never-married at these ages, compared with approximately 54.0% of the men and 38.1% of the women at those ages who were never-married in 2000.
Among the Moslems only about 44.5% of the men and 19.0% of the women at those ages are never-married.
The percentage of widowers aged 65 and over among Jews and others was 13.0%, whereas the percentage of widows was 44.3%. Among the Arab population, the percentage of widowers was 7.9% and that of widows was 48.0%.
Growing Jewish population
In 2011, the proportion of natively born Israelis in the population continued to show an increasing trend, and their number reached about 4.3 million persons, who comprise approximately 55.8% of the total population in Israel.
The proportion of those born in Israel among the Jewish population and "Others" has increased consistently since the establishment of the State of Israel. Native born Israelis constituted 35% of total Jews at the time of the State's establishment, compared with 73.0% of total Jews at the end of 2011.
Some 166,296 infants were born in Israel in 2011 similar to 2010 (166,255). The average number of children per woman was estimated at approximately 3.00, slightly lower than 3.03 in 2010, and similar to the level at the end of the 1980's and the beginning of the 1990's.
In 2011, an increasing trend in the average number of children for Jewish women continued; it was estimated at 2.98 children per woman (compared with 2.97 in 2010).
This is the highest level recorded since 1977. A slight increase in the number of children per woman was recorded also among Christian women, from 2.14 in 2010 to 2.19 in 2011, as well as among women without a religious classification – from 1.64 to 1.75.
Meanwhile, the average number of children for Moslem women continued a downward trend and reached 3.51 children per woman in 2011 (a decrease from 3.75 in 2010). The average number of children for Druze women also continued in a downward trend and reached 2.33 children per woman in 2011, a decrease from 2.48 in 2010.
In 2011, the average age of mothers giving birth to their first child was 27.3. Among Jewish women, the average age was 28.2, and among Arab women 23.7; of those, the average age of Moslem women giving birth to their first child was 23.4.
In 2011, 16,892 immigrants arrived in Israel (an increase of approximately 1.5% in the number of immigrants compared with 2010). The largest number of immigrants were from: Russia (3,678 immigrants), Ethiopia (2,666), USA (2,363), Ukraine (2,051), and France (1,775).
In the past three years, there was an increase in the extent of immigration from Ethiopia: From 239 immigrants in 2009 to 2,666 immigrants in 2011.
In 2011, the rate of immigration continued to be relatively low – 2.7 immigrants per 1,000 residents (Jews and Others). In 2010, approximately 33,000 foreign citizens entered Israel with a work permit.
Thailand, the Philippines, and the Former Soviet Union led the number of entries in 2010. In that year, approximately 32,000 workers from abroad who had entered with a work permit left the country.
The life expectancy at birth in 2011 was 80.0 years for men, and 83.6 years for women.
Life expectancy rose in the previous decade by 2.7 years among men and by 2.4 years among women.
The life expectancy of Jews is higher than that of Arabs. In 2011, the gap stood at 4.2 years among men and 3.0 years among women.
A decade ago, the gap between Arab and Jewish men was larger and the gap between women was smaller. In 2001 the gap stood at 3.4 among men and 3.8 among women.
Israel's life expectancy is higher than OECD countries. The life expectancy of men is ranked second (after Switzerland) and the life expectancy of women is ranked lower, in eighth place.
The infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births in 2011 was 3.5. Thus, there was a continuation of the decreasing trend in infant mortality rates (5.1 in 2001).
The infant mortality rate was high among Arabs (6.1), compared with Jews and Others (2.6). The relative gap in the infant mortality rate between Jews and Arabs in 2011 is similar to the relative gap at the beginning of the 2000s; afterwards, the gap increased, and in later years it has diminished.
As for education, in 2011, the national expenditure on education, at constant prices, increased by 7.7%, following an increase of 6.7% in 2010.
Expenditure on education includes the expenditures of public and private educational institutions in all levels of education – from pre-primary to higher education, as well as households' expenditure for private lessons, textbooks, etc.
The most updated OECD figures (for 2009) show that the expenditure on educational institutions in Israel is relatively high – 7.2% of the GDP, compared with 6.4% in OECD member countries.
In this comparison, one should take into account that the percentage of young people in the Israeli population is relatively higher than that of OECD nations.
Thus, Israel has a higher percentage of students while at the same time the percentage of residents at working age who can fund education is less.
A comparison of the average expenditure per student at Purchase Price Parity (PPP) shows that in Israel the average expenditure per student in all levels of education is lower than the average in OECD countries.
The gap is especially prevalent in tertiary and higher education: $11,214 in Israel compared with $18,801 in the OECD; and in pre-primary education: $3,998 in Israel compared with $6,051 in the OECD.
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