Moti Bassok
September 23, 2008 - 8:00pm

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah 5769, Israel's population stands at 7,337,000 people, including 5,542,000 Jewish Israelis (75.5 percent) and 1,477,000 Israeli Arabs (20.1 percent).

The figures, published Wednesday in the Central Bureau of Statistics annual report, also include another 318,000 Israelis listed under the category of "others," in which some 200,000 foreign workers were counted. The report stated that the population has grown by 1.8 percent since last year.

The report also says that Israel's population is relatively young compared to western nations. In 2007, 28.4 percent of Israelis were below the age of 14, as opposed to only 17 percent in western countries. Likewise, 9.8 percent of Israel's population was aged 65 and over, as opposed to 15 percent of western nations' populations.

'Jews live longer than Arabs'

The report also reveals a substantial gap in the life expectancy for Israeli Jews as opposed to Israeli Arabs. Jewish women live an average of 82.5 years and Jewish men live 78.8 years. In the Arab sector, that number falls by four years for men, and 3.8 years for women.

The findings also show that for every 1,000 women in Israel there are 978 men. The population of men age 36 years and younger is greater than of women, though the numbers are reversed when comparing the sexes from age 37 onwards. For every 1,000 women at age 75, there are 672 men at the same age.

The statistics also indicate a greater percentage of single men and women among the Jewish population, particularly in the younger demographic. The numbers reflect a growing trend to marry at a later age. In 2006, 76 percent of Jewish males in the 20 to 29-year-old demographic were not married, compared to 73 percent in 2000, while 60 percent of women were single in 2006 compared to 54 percent in 2000.

Among Jews, the largest group is those who originate from a European-American extraction - 2.2 million, which represents 38.5 percent of the total Jewish population in the country as of the end of 2007. Fifteen percent of Jews numbering 871,000 are of African origins while 11.9 percent are from Asian countries. A total of 34.6 percent of Jews are native born Israelis whose parents were also born in the country.

Half of the Jewish population in the country resides in the center region, with 20.7 percent living in the Tel Aviv district. Less than 10 percent of the Jewish population lives in the northern district. On the other hand, 45 percent of the Arab population in the country lives in the north while 11 percent lives in the south. As such, 53 percent of all residents in the north are Israeli Arabs.

During 2007 Tel Aviv's population grew by 500 residents. On the other hand, 6,400 people left Jerusalem, 2,200 left Haifa and 400 left Ashdod. Some 7,300 people became members of the rural population, most of whom joined kibbutzim.

The increase in the average age of Israel's citizens is most prominent around Tel Aviv, where the average age is now 33.7 years.

Population density in Israel is also high, at an average of 315 people per square kilometer. Tel Aviv is the most densely populated region overall, with 7,100 people per square kilometer, in comparison to 273 people per square kilometer in the north and 73 people per square kilometer in the south.

In the city of Bnei Brak, close to Tel Aviv, there are 20,680 people per square kilometer, while Bat Yam boasts 15,743 per square kilometer. Moreover it appears that the region with the highest number of members per family is the West Bank, with 4.46 persons per Israeli family. The Jerusalem region is second, with an average of 4.26. The area with the lowest number of persons per family is the Tel Aviv region, with 3.22.


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