buses - Daniel Bar-On - 14072011
A crowded bus stop on Carlebach Street in Tel Aviv. Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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On the eve of the Jewish new year 5772 Israel's population stands at 7,797,400 people, of whom 5,874,300 are Jewish, 1,600,100 Arabic and 323,000 of other ethnicity (most of which are immigrants from the former USSR who are not registered as being Jewish), a survey released by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics showed on Sunday.

The statistics show a growth rate of 1.9% since 2010, like that of the past eight years. There was a similar growth rate in Israel in the 1980's, during which there was little immigration. In the 1990's, during the period of high immigration from the former USSR, there was an average yearly growth rate of 3%.

In 2010 the growth rate of the Jewish population was 1.7%, that of the Arabic community was 2.5% and the population of other ethnicities was 1.7%. The growth rate of the Muslim community was 2.7%, that of the Christian community was 0.9% and of the Druze community was 1.8%.

Israel's young population

According to the Statistical Abstract, Israel's population is considered young compared to Western countries. In 2010, 28% of Israel's population was aged between 0-14, compared to 17% in other Western countries, and about 10% were aged above 65%, compared to 15% in Western countries.

The majority live in the country's center

About 41% of Israel's population resides in the center of the country, with about 24% in the Central District, and about 17% in the Tel Aviv District. In the Northern District reside about 17% of the population, about 14% live in the Southern District and in each of the Haifa and Jerusalem Districts reside about 12%. An additional 4% live in the West Bank.

Three children per mother

48,997 couples got married in Israel in 2009, of which 37,165 were Jewish couples (76%) and 9,999 were Muslim (20%). On the other hand, 13,233 couples got divorced, of which 10,928 were Jewish (83%) and 1,393 Muslim (11%).

In 2010 there were 166,255 babies born, a 3.2% more than in 2009, and the average number of children per mother was 3.03.

5.4% become newly religious

About 200,000 people aged 20 and over, 5.4% of the population in that age range, defined themselves as "newly religious", of which 70% were Israeli-born.

5.4% of Jews aged 20 and over (about 790,000 people) reported being more religious now than they were in the past. 14% of Jews reported being less religious than they were in the past.