As 2018 begins, Israel’s population reaches 8.79 million

Israel’s population reached approximately 8.79 million on the last day of 2017, the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday. Some 6.55 million Israelis – 74.6 percent of the population – are Jewish, the bureau said. About 1.83 million, accounting for 20.9 percent of the population, are Arabs. The remaining 4.5 percent – about 400,000 people – are others, including non-Arab Christians and those with no religion. The figures do not include foreign workers or people without permanent residency status in Israel.

The bureau said Israel’s population increased by about 165,000 people – 1.9 percent – in 2017, similar to the average annual increase during the past decade. Most of this increase, 82 percent, was the result of natural growth (births over deaths), while the rest came from net immigration.

Some 180,000 babies were born in Israel in 2017 – 73.8 percent of them Jewish and 23.3 percent of them Arab. About 44,000 people died in Israel during the year.

About 27,000 people made aliyah in 2017, and 10,000 immigrated to Israel through other frameworks. Most of the immigrants came from Russia (27.1 percent), Ukraine (25.5 percent), France (13 percent) and the U.S. (9.8 percent).