TEL AVIV - On the eve of Israel’s 57th Independence Day, the country’s population is estimated to stand at about 6.9 million residents, according to Central Bureau of Statistics figures.
About 5,260,000 Jews currently live in Israel, comprising 76 percent of the total population, alongside about 1,350,000 Arabs, who comprise approximately 20 percent of the population.
Meanwhile, about 290,000 people are defined as “others,” mostly new immigrants who are not recognized as Jewish by the Interior Ministry and comprise about 4 percent of the overall population.
Notably, Israel’s population today is 8.5 times larger than it was at the time of the state’s establishment - about 806,000 people.
Since the last Independence Day, 149,000 babies were born in the country and about 26,000 new immigrants arrived here. About 9,500 newcomers came from Russia and former Soviet states, while 4,400 arrived from Ethiopia.
Almost a million Russians
On another front, 45 percent of the country’s residents live in towns whose population is 100,000 and above. A quarter of all Israelis reside in the four largest cities, Jerusalem (704,900,) Tel Aviv (371,000,) Haifa (269,300,) and Rishon Lezion (217,500.)
In 1948, Tel Aviv boasted a population of 248,500 people and was the only city in the country whose population was more than 100,000.
Meanwhile, 65 percent of Jews and those defined as “others” were born in Israel, while 35 percent were born abroad, including 950,000 people who were born in the former Soviet Union.
Another 157,000 Israelis were born in Morocco, 110,000 were born in Romania, 77,000 were born in North America (mostly in the United States,) 70,000 came from Iraq and Ethiopia respectively, and 64,000 arrived from Poland.
At the time of the state’s establishment, only 35 percent of Jews in the country were born here, while the rest came from overseas.