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July 10, 2019 9:40 am

Immigration to Israel Up in 2018, With More Russians, Fewer French Arriving

avatar by Israel Hayom /

Some 300 new immigrants from France arrive on a special flight organized by the Jewish Agency, at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport on July 23, 2018. Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90. – A total of 28,099 new immigrants arrived in Israel in 2018, an increase of 6.6 percent compared to 2017, according to statistics published Tuesday by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

According to the data, over two-thirds (67.7 percent) of the new immigrants who arrived in Israel in 2018 came from the former Soviet Union, primarily Russia and Ukraine. Another nine percent came from the United States, and 8.7 percent were from France.

The number of new immigrants from Russia in 2018 stood at 10,460, a jump compared to the 7,135 who arrived from Russia the year before. Despite rising antisemitism throughout Europe, immigration from France was down, with 2,415 French immigrants arriving in 2018, 23.5 percent fewer than in 2017. Immigration from France peaked in 2015, when 6,628 new immigrants from France moved to Israel.

The number of new immigrants from Asia in 2018 stood at 1,429, an increase of 12.3 percent over 2017. A total of 365 new immigrants arrived in Israel from Africa in 2018, 14.1 percent fewer than in 2017.

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Most of the new immigrants who arrived in 2018 opted to settle in larger cities. According to the CBS data, 11.1 percent settled in Tel Aviv; 9.5 percent in Jerusalem; 8.5 percent in Netanya and 7.9 percent in Haifa. Another five percent moved to Bat Yam, located just south of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, and five percent made their homes in Ashdod.

Tel Aviv was the top pick for immigrants from Russia and France, while Jerusalem was preferred by olim from the United States.

The data also took a wider look at immigration since the state was established in 1948. Some 3.3 million new immigrants have moved to Israel since 1948, according to the figures, and of those 47.3 percent have arrived since 1990.

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