Aliyah 2006: 25 percent increase in British immigrants
Lower immigration figures for 2006 attributed to war in Lebanon, massive jump in aliyah from Britain, North America. Absorption champ of the year goes to Jerusalem, with 2,186 of the 19,200 new immigrants choosing to make their home in capital city
While 2006 may not have been a particularly impressive year for aliyah due to the last war in Lebanon, to which many attribute the 9 percent drop in immigration figures (19,200 compared to 21,042 in 2005) – the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B' Nefesh organization are still very pleased with this year's statistics, citing a massive increase in immigration from North America and Britain.
The Ministry for Immigration and Absorption recorded a 25 percent increase in new immigrants from Britain and an 11 percent increase in immigrants from the United States and Canada. More than 3,000 new immigrants arrived in Israel this year from North America (the largest aliyah to Israel from the region since 1983), constituting 16 percent of the overall amount of new immigrants.
Of the 19,200 new immigrants 2,186 chose to settle in Jerusalem, with Be'er Sheva coming in second with 1,317 new immigrants absorbed, Ashdod third with 1,008 and Tel-Aviv fourth with 913.
Over the past three years Jerusalem has overtaken Ashdod as the foremost choice by newcomers, taking in 7,305 immigrants over the cited period of time, primarily originating from North America and France.
Immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia preferred Haifa, Ashdod, Be'er Sheva and Jerusalem this year while immigrants from France favored Netanya and Jerusalem. Immigrants from Latin America optioned for Jerusalem and Be'er Sheva.