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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3 Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. History
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Index / Demographics
Open map of IsraelFlag of IsraelIsrael /

Key figures
7.2 million
Population density:
348 per square kilometre.
Median age:
29 years
Population growth
2.8 children/woman.
MENA rank: 12 of 22.

DemographicsDetailed article
With comparison tables for all countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Through the 20th century, the population of Israel doubled slightly more than 11 times, a figure that is relatively high, but still surprisingly low. It can be considered low since Israel is a society of great immigration, more than 75% of the population are of families that didn't live here in 1900. Still, many of the original Palestinian Arabs have become refugees following the formation stages of the state of Israel.
Adding to the confusion, the 1900 figures show the population of the lands corresponding to both modern Israel and Palestine. The combined population of the two lands is today 11.2 million, meaning that the doubling through the 20th century was 17 times (the combined population was 9 million in 2000).
Although Israel produces some of the best statistical data of any Middle Eastern country, figures may still emerge as a misrepresentation. This because a few hundred thousand Israelis live in Palestine as settlers, making a claim that the land they live on is a natural part of Israel.
Population growth in Israel is fairly high in the 2000's, with 1.7% annual growth. This is largely because of high fertility rates, the average Israeli mother has 2.8 children, more than it is from immigration. There is still a net immigration, presently contributing with 3,000 new inhabitants a year, while a birth to death ratio of 4 to 1 makes the population grow with 120,000 a year.
Projections make the Israeli population reach 11 million by 2050, but this is more a guesswork than it is for other countries. For Jews it is easy to immigrate to Israel, and far from impossible to emigrate to Western countries. There are also more than 8 million Jews living outside Israel, and while many of these are well integrated in their present countries, Jews face increased hardship from fast growing Muslim immigrant groups all across Europe.
Also there is the question of Arabs in Israel. Today they count 20% of the total population and has a higher fertility rate than the Jews. As of 2004, Arab mothers had 4.4 children, Jewish mothers 2.7, but the Arab fertility rate is slowly going down, while the Jewish is actually on the increase. Radical Jews wish to see all Arabs leave Israel, while there is a strong call among Palestinian refugees that they should be permitted to return to their original homeland. Whether any of these radical solutions will be realized, or something in between, remains unclear.
More information of demography is found in other Israel articles about ethnic composition, first languages spoken and religious adherence. There is also information relevant to demographics under education and health.

Year Density
(per km²)
1890 500,000 24
1900 516,000 25 3%
1910 616,000 30 19%
1920 737,000 35 20%
1930 880,000 42 19%
1940 1,050,000 50 19%
1950 1,260,000 60 20%
1960 2,110,000 101 67%
1970 2,970,000 143 41%
1980 3,880,000 186 31%
1990 4,410,000 212 14%
2000 5,840,000 281 32%
2009 7,230,000 348 24%

By Tore Kjeilen