On 68th Independence Day, Israel’s Population Hits 8.5 Million

Jewish population in Israel grew tenfold since establishment 43% of the world’s Jews live in Israel today, compared to just 6% in 1948.

Israelis watch an air show during Independence Day in Tel Aviv, Tuesday, May 6, 2014

On the eve of the State of Israel’s 68th Independence Day the population numbers approximately 8.5 million — more than 10 times what it was when the state was founded. The latest figures issued Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics also show that since last Independence Day, the population has grown by 182,000, an increase of about 2.2 percent.

At the time of the founding of the state the local population was 806,000.

Today the Jewish population numbers about 6.37 million (74 percent of the total) and the Arab population,1.77 million (20.8 percent). The remaining 5.2 percent is comprised of non-Arab Christians, members of other faiths and those without a religious classification.

Children in the community of Gan Yavneh celebrate Israel's 68th Independence Day early, waving Israeli flags.
Gan Yavneh Spokesperson's Office

Since last Independence Day about 195,000 babies were born and about 47,000 people died. About 36,000 new immigrants arrived.

About 75 percent of the Jewish population in Israel are “sabras” – native-born Israelis (over half of them second-generation Israelis). In 1948, at the founding of the state, sabras constituted only 35 percent of the Jews in the country. At the time, there were about 11.5 million Jews in the world, only 6 percent of them in Israel. According to the updated CBS statistics for 2014, there are now about 14.3 million Jews in the world – 43 percent of them in Israel.

According to the population forecast, in 2035 the population of the State of Israel is expected to reach 11.3 million.