JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s population stands at 8.68 million on the eve of Israel Independence Day.
The figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Thursday ahead of the nation’s 69th birthday on Monday show that the country’s population is growing by nearly 2 percent a year and that there are 10 times as many Israelis today as there were when the state was founded in 1948.
Some 6.48 million residents of Israel are Jewish and account for 74.4% of the population, and 1.8 million Arabs make up 20.8%. Non-Arab Christians and other ethnic groups make up the 4.4%, of Israel’s population.
In the last year, there were 174,000 births and 44,000 deaths. The population also increased some 30,000 by new immigrants.
Seventy-five percent of the current population was born in Israel, compared to 35 percent who were born in the area in 1948.
Forty-four percent of Jewish Israelis consider themselves secular, with 24 percent identifying as traditional but “not so religious.” Eleven percent say they are religious/Orthodox and 9 percent say they are ultra-Orthodox.
Eight-nine percent of Israeli adults say they are “satisfied with their lives”; 52% “estimate that their lives will be better in the future.”