For Every Two Britons Making Aliyah to Israel, Three Israelis Immigrate to the U.K.

A new study of the Israeli population in Britain puts its number at 25,000, most of whom are young, highly educated and secular.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Stamford Hill, North London, U.K., November 2013.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Stamford Hill, North London, U.K., November 2013.Credit: Tal Cohen

More Israelis are immigrating to Britain than British Jews making aliyah to Israel, according to a new study released on Wednesday in the United Kingdom. The ratio of these entering Britain to those leaving is about three to two.

Numbering some 25,000 people, the Israeli population in Britain is at an all-time high, according to the study. Their numbers increased particularly rapidly between 2000 and 2011 – averaging a rate of about 4 percent a year.

The Israelis living in the U.K. are not all Jews, according to the study. Just under 10 percent declare a religion other than Jewish, primarily Christianity, and another 16 percent do not declare any religion in census data.

At the other end of the spectrum. 16% of the Israelis in Britain are ultra-Orthodox and live in Britain's Haredi communities.

Constituting some 6 percent of the U.K. Jewish community as a whole, the Israelis are relatively secular and few belong to a synagogue. However, they are just a likely as native-born Jews to send their children to Jewish schools.

The Israeli population is mainly young – the majority is aged between 25 and 45 – and highly educated.

Only 9 percent of the Israel-born Jews in the U.K. have an Israeli-born spouse, indicating that marrying or partnering with someone from Britain is a major factor in the growth of the population.

Titled "Britain’s Israeli Diaspora," the study was commissioned by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and authored by Dr. David Graham, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute.

The data used for the study is based on U.K. census data and excludes people resident in Britain for less than 12 months.

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