Population of Israel
As of September 2012, The State of Israel has some 7.8 million inhabitants.
The most prominent characteristic of Israel’s the population is its high diversity. Besides the main division of the country’s inhabitants into Jews (80%) and Arabs (20%), there are many more subdivisions.
The Jews, for example, are divided into religious and secular, while the latter include various immigrant communities who preserve their culture.
Likewise, the Arabs are divided into Moslems, Christians and Druze.
Alongside these groups, Israel has additional small ethnic religious groups such as the Circassians and the Samaritans, and small Christian communities from Europe such as the German Beit El community in Zikhron Ya'akov.
Another major characteristic of the Israeli population is its rapid growth rate, which is atypical for developed countries.
Since the establishment of the State, the population of Israel has increased almost tenfold, mainly due to the immigration of Jews from round the world.
Today, Israel is a densely populated country, even though large regions are thinly populated. The population of Israel is young (the median age is 28.3 years), its infant mortality rate is low (5.8 deaths for each 1,000 births), and the life expectancy is high (78.7 years).
About 40% of Israel's total population lives in the center of the country (24% in Central region and 16.5% in Tel Aviv area). Approximately 17% of the population lives in the north and another 14% are based in the south. 12% live in both Jerusalem and Haifa regions and another 4% in the West Bank.
Just under half of the Jewish population lives in the center of the country, either Jerusalem or Tel Aviv metropolitan areas. 60% of the Arab population lives in the north.
Jerusalem and the Central region recorded an above average growth rate of 2.5% while Tel Aviv saw one of its lowest, at 0.8%.
Tel Aviv is Israel's densest region with 7,522 people per km2; Jerusalem has a density of 1,484 people per km2 and Bnei Brak is Israel's densest city with 22,145 people per km2.