Ahead of the celebrations of Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day) starting at sunset on Monday 1st May 2017, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has published its annual  report of the population of the State of Israel (in Hebrew on their site). For information in English, you can consult the article in the Times of Israel by clicking here.

 

The growth from May 1948, when the State of Israel was declared, has been constant as shown in the graph provided by the CBS. 

 

With close to 8.7 million residents (some Israelis also live abroad and are not part of this number), Israel would be in the 15th position in terms of size as compared to all European Union countries (see figures by clicking here), 28 countries in total so Israel would be exactly at half way.

 

The number of 8.7 million is roughly composed of 71% Jews, 21% Muslim Arabs and 8% non-Muslim Arabs (of which Arab Christians). As the political regime in Israel is a Parliamentary Democracy, the votes adds up proportionally so each population, or political party representing it, has a chance to get representation at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. So, yes, there are Arab members of Parliament, and yes it sometimes gets difficult for a political leader to form a government without alliance with small parties: every parliamentary seat counts ! And you find some uninformed people in the world stating that Israel is an Apartheid !! They should just ask the Black population in South Africa if they had equal civil rights and proportional representation during the Apartheid there ! Coincidentally, one senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has stated this week that Israel is (obviously) not an Apartheid (see press report by clicking here).

 

About religion, it is interesting to see that most Israeli Jews (44% of them) consider themselves as "secular"and only 9% are ultra-Orthodox. Among the non-Jewish population it is different: only 21% are secular while 52% are religious and 4% ultra-religious.

 

The most populated city is Jerusalem with over 800,000 residents. Tel-Aviv is second but, if you would add the larger Tel-Aviv region with its suburbs such as Ramat Gan etc., the number would probably top at 1 million. 

 

So, happy 69th birthday to Israel !

 

Albert Benhamou

Private Certified Tour Guide

April 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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