On the eve of Yom Ya’atzmaut to mark Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence, the Jewish State found it had even more to celebrate as the latest figures released by the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics revealed its population had topped 8 million for the first time in its 65-year history.
Out of the total 8,018,000 Israelis, the country counts a 75.3% Jewish majority, with its 6,042,000 outstripping the six million European Jews who perished in the Holocaust a few short years before the establishment of the Jewish State. Recognising the remarkable achievement for the small country in an address to mark last week’s Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s post Holocaust era-boom showed that “the citizens of Israel are testament to our victory. From the abyss of the Holocaust, we climbed to the peak of Zion. From a deep pit, we rose to a pinnacle”.
Sunday’s annual census report further confirmed a population growth rate of 1.8% on the previous year, with 163,000 reported births. After having factored in 41,000 deaths and 19,500 immigrations to the country, it resulted in an overall growth rate of 137,000 citizens.
The latest statistics show a marked difference from Israel’s modest proportions on its 1948 inception, when it claimed a total population of 806,000, with Tel Aviv-Jaffa the only city housing more than 100,000, in comparison with the 14 Israeli cities today claiming the same proportions.