Israel’s Jewish majority continues to shrink as total population nears 10 million

Population of Israel projected to more than double by 2065 to over 20 million.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The population of Israel rose to 9,795,000 in 2023, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics Wednesday ahead of the Rosh Hashana holiday, with the country’ slated to cross the ten-million mark by the end of 2024.

Israel’s total population grew by approximately 200,000 since last Rosh Hashana, rising from 9,593,000, equivalent to 2.1% annual growth.

The growth rate for the Jewish population continues to lag behind the overall rate at 1.6%, with the total number of Jews in Israel rising by 112,000 over the last twelve months from 7,069,000 to 7,181,000.

The country’s Jewish majority continues to slowly decline, falling from 73.7% in 2022 to 73.3% in 2023.

The Arab population now numbers 2,065,000, or 21.1% of the total, with an additional 549,000 (5.6% of the population) citizens and permanent residents classified as “others,” the majority of whom are non-Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

The number of babies born in Israel declined over the past year, falling from 177,000 live births during the past 12 months to 172,000.

There were also fewer deaths in Israel during the past year, with 48,000 Israelis dying, compared to 53,000 during the previous Hebrew calendar year.

More than 70,000 immigrants moved to Israel since the last Rosh Hashana, including 66,000 new immigrants (olim hadashim).

Wednesday’s report by the CBS also includes a breakdown of Israel’s adult Jewish population according to self-reported levels of religiosity as of December 2022.

Nearly half (44.2%) of Israeli Jews over 20 identify as secular, compared to 21.0% who say they are traditional but not religious, 11.7% who are traditional-religious, 11.5% who are religious, and 10.8% who are ultra-Orthodox.

That marks a decrease in the secular population, and an increase among Orthodox Jews. Self-identified secular Jews made up 45.3% of the Jewish population a year ago, while religious Jews and ultra-Orthodox Jews made up just 10.7% and 10.5% of the population respectively.