Independence Day - AFP - 18.4.10
Traffic coming to a halt next to the Azrieli Tower in Tel Aviv on Remembrance Day, ahead of Israel's 62nd Independence Day on April 18, 2010. Photo by AFP
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Israel currently has a population of about 7,746,000, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported in advance of Independence Day. When Israel was established, it had a population of 806,000. According to data from the agency, there are about 5,837,000 Jews living in the country, representing 75.3 percent of the population, and about 1,587,000 Arabs, or about 20.5 percent of the population. There are an additional 322,000 immigrants to the country and their descendants who are not registered as Jewish by the Interior Ministry, constituting another 4.2 percent of the population.

Over the past year, about 178,000 babies were born in Israel, while about 43,000 people died in the country. During the year, 24,500 people immigrated to Israel, including 6,500 Israelis born abroad to Israeli citizens. Net emigration from the country, calculated by defining as an emigrant anyone who left Israel and has been continuously absent from the country for more than a year, reduced the country's population by about 12,000. Overall, in the past year, Israel's population has grown by about 155,000, for a 2.0 percent growth rate.

More than 70 percent of the Jewish population is native-born, compared to 35 percent in 1948, and that year, there was only one city in the country with more than 100,000 residents: Tel Aviv. Today there are 14 such cities, including six with more than 200,000 people: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Rishon Letzion, Ashdod and Petah Tikva.