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On Eve of Rosh Hashanah Israel’s Population Increases to Almost 9.4 Million People

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

The blowing of the shofar, traditionally done on Rosh Hashanah. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Israel’s population numbered almost 9.4 million people, growing by 146,000 people from the year before, according to figures published by the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics on Sunday.

The 9,391,000 people currently residing in Israel are expected to top 10 million people by the end of 2024, 15 million people by the end of 2048 and more than double to 20 million residents by the end of 2065.

Released ahead of Monday’s eve of the Jewish new year, the statistics showed that 74%, or 6.94 million people in Israel are currently Jewish residents; 21%, or 1.98 million are Arab residents; and 5%, or 466,000 residents are of other ethnic origin. Overall, 172,000 babies were born and 48,000 deaths were reported — including 5,800 from the coronavirus — during the nearly 12 months since the last Rosh Hashanah.

“We are on the threshold of a new year. We hope that it will be a better and calmer year than its predecessor,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarked at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday. “I send to the people of Israel greetings for the new year, a year in which we will see what unites, not what divides. A year in which we will emphasize what we have in common and always remember that beyond all disagreements — we are brothers.”

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The coronavirus pandemic-led restrictions on travel to Israel have led to a slowdown in the number of new immigrants arriving in the country. About 19,676 immigrants arrived in Israel during 2020, plunging 40.4% from the more than 33,000 new arrivals in 2019. A total of some 3.3 million immigrants have moved to the Jewish nation, since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

Only about 887,100 tourists visited Israel in 2020 compared with 4.9 million in 2019 due to the coronavirus-related travel limitations.

On the eve of the Jewish new year of 5782, the world’s Jewish population stands at about 15.2 million, growing by 100,000 from the year before, according to statistics published by the Jewish Agency. Israel is the location of the largest concentration of Jews in the world, numbering close to 6.9 million. About 8.3 million Jews live outside the country, including around 6 million in the United States.

Another 446,000 Jews live in France, 393,000 in Canada, and 292,000 in Great Britain. A further 150,000 Jews reside in Russia, while Germany is home to 118,000 Jews. The data also found that around 27,000 Jews live in Arab and Muslim states, out of which 14,500 live in Turkey; 9,500 in Iran; 2,000 in Morocco, and about 1,000 Jews in Tunisia.

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