On 62nd Independence Day, Israel Has 7,587,000 Citizens

On the eve of the country's 62nd Independence Day, Israel has 7,587,000 citizens, compared to 806,000 when the state was established, the Central Bureau of Statistics revealed yesterday.

Since the 61st Independence Day, the number of citizens has increased by 137,000, or 1.8 percent, according to CBS data.

Of all the citizens, 5,726,000 are Jews, equal to 75.5 percent of the total population. Another 1,548,000 are Arabs, which is equal to 20.4 percent of the population.

The remainder is mostly immigrants and their children whom the Interior Ministry has not listed as Jews. This includes about 313,000 people, or 4.1 percent of the population.

There were no major changes in the composition of the population over the last year.

During the past year, 159,000 babies were born, and 37,000 people died. Israel welcomed 16,000 immigrants, while another 9,000 came as part of family unification procedures. About 10,000 citizens left Israel.

More than 70 percent of the Jewish population was born here, and more than half are second-generation Israelis. In comparison, in 1948 only 35 percent of the Jewish population had been born in the land that would become Israel.

Israel currently has 14 cities with more than 100,000 residents, six of which are home to more than 200,000 residents: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rishon Letzion, Ashdod and Petah Tikva. When the state was established, only one city - Tel Aviv - had more than 100,000 residents.

The Hotline for Migrant Workers says there are currently 80,000 people here on work visas, and 17,000 asylum seekers. The hotline estimates that there are another 100,000 labor migrants here without the proper work permits. Many of them entered the country legally.