Less immigrants than last year
Photo: Sasson Tiram
Edri: This is red light
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Aliyah numbers lowest in 18 years

Number of new immigrants coming to Israel in 2007 down by 6% from last year. Government plans to invest big bucks to bring back Israelis who live abroad. Absorption Minister: 'Drop in aliyah should be red light for all of us'

In 2007, less than 20,000 people left their places of residence to make a home in Israel – the lowest number of new immigrants to come to the Jewish State since 1989.


The Ministry of Absorption published aliyah statistics for 2007 on Sunday which showed a decrease of 6% in immigration from last year.


There was also a 15% drop in the number of immigrants from former Soviet Union states.


Absorption Minister Jacob Edery responded to the low numbers by saying that "the drop in aliyah should be a red light for all of us, we must do everything possible to increase the rate of aliyah to Israel in order to breathe life into the Zionist enterprise which is so important to the state's history."


Today, there are more than one million olim living in Israel – they make up about 15% of the general population.


One third of the new immigrants that arrived in 2007 were from former Soviet states, 19% came from Ethiopia, 15% made aliyah from North America and France and the rest came from Western Europe and Central and Southern America.


Women made up 52% of the olim.


Fifty-four percent of the immigrants were single and 35% came as a married couples. Nearly a third of the newly arrived soon-to-be Israelis had training in the sciences, 15% were students and 9% were industrial workers.


The oldest new immigrant was 99 years-old and came from the UK. Fifty of the new immigrants were nonagenarians.


Fourteen percent were planning to settle in Jerusalem – the most popular destination among the fresh recruits in recent years.


Financial incentives for Israelis to return home

The Ministry of Absorption will invest NIS 19 million in organizations that work to convince Israelis who have left Israel to live abroad to return to their home.


According to Minister Edery, his ministry intends to invest "vast resources to increase the scope of aliyah, while developing detailed attractive programs for various target audiences and supporting organizations that encourage aliyah."


פרסום ראשון: 12.24.07, 00:32
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