According to a study by Hebrew University’s Professor Sergio DellaPergola, the global Jewish population reached 13.75 million in the past year, with an increase of 88,000 people. Israel’s Maariv newspaper published excerpts of the study last week, reporting that one out of every 514 people in the world is Jewish, less than 0.2 percent of mankind. About 43% of the world’s Jewish community lives in Israel, making Israel the country with the largest Jewish population. The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics reported on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, 5773, that the total population of Israel in 2012 grew to nearly 8 million. About 73% of the population is native born.
The Israeli Jewish population stands at 5,978,600, up 1.8%; the Arab population numbers at 1,636,600, up 2.4%; and the rest of the population including Christians and non-Jews reached 318,000 people, up 1.3%. Israel’s Jewish population makes up 75% of the state’s total people.
In all, the Jewish state’s population increased by 96,300 people in 2012, a growth rate that did not diverge from the average rate in the past eight years.
Part of Israel’s population increase comes because of the new immigrants that have arrived to the country. In 2011, Israel welcomed 16,892 new immigrants as citizens, with the largest populations coming from Russia (3,678), followed by Ethiopia (2,666), United States (2,363), Ukraine (2,051) and France (1,775).
Israel’s population is relatively young compared to populations in other western countries, with 28% of the population aged 0-14. Israel’s life expectancy ranks one of the highest of the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) 34 member states, with Jewish males’ life expectancy 4.2 years higher than their Arab counterparts.
The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics also found that 40% of Israel’s population lives in the center of the country, with Tel Aviv as Israel’s densest region, while 17 % lives in the north, 14% in the south, 12% in Jerusalem and Haifa, and 4% in Judea and Samaria.
Over 47,885 couples married in Israel in the past year, of which 75% were Jewish and 21% Muslim. In 2011, there were 166, 296 babies born in Israel.
The world’s principal religious populations divide as follows according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2012: Christians at 33% or 2.1 billion, Muslims at 24% or 1.65 billion, Hindus at 14% or 900 million, and Buddhists at 6% or 350 million. At least one billion people in the world do not ascribe to any religion at all.