As Israel is to celebrate its 66th Independence Day, its population nears 8.2 million

Israel’s populationIsrael’s population

Israel’s population nears 8.2 million, according to figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of the country celebration of Yom Haatzmut, its Independence Day.

The population grew by 2 %, about 157,000 people, according to the report.

Jews make up 75 % of the population, or 6.135 million people. Arabs are 20.7 % or 1.694 million people. The additional 4.3%, approximately 345,000 people, represent non-Arab Christians and people of other religions as well as those with no religious affiliation.

About 178,000 babies were born in the last year and about 42,000 deaths were reported.

Some 24,000 people moved to Israel as new immigrants in the last year.

According to the report, at the end of 2012, approximately three quarters of the Jewish population in Israel were considered Sabarim, a term used to describe native born Israelis; and more than half were at least second generation natives.

These figures indicate a drastic increase since the foundation of the state of Israel when in 1948 the estimated population stood at around 806 thousand people, of which only 35% were native born Israelis.

The report also stated that in 1948 Israel had only one city – Tel-Aviv-Jaffa- in which the population exceeded 100,000 residents.

Today, 14 cities have populations of more than 100,000 residents, of which six have over 200,000 residents: Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Petah Tikvah.