Israel’s population expected to rise to 15.6 million by 2048, increased Jewish majority

Israel will be home to close to 12 million Jews by the country’s 100th birthday, demographers estimate.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Israel’s Jewish population will number close to 12 million by the country’s 100th birthday, according to a projection released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

The Jewish state’s total population numbered approximately 9,453,000 at the end of 2021 – the last year for which the report had complete data – including 7,456,000 people in the “Jews and others” category (representing 79% of the population) and approximately one million Arab Israelis (21%).

Of the nearly 7.5 million people included in the “Jews and others” category,” 93.7% were Jewish, or just under 7 million people. The remaining nearly half a million people in the “Jews and others” category were mostly non-Jewish immigrants who moved to Israel from Eastern Europe under the Law of Return after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Israel’s Jewish and Arab populations are both projected to continue to enjoy robust growth rates through 2065, though the Arab sector’s total fertility rate – the average number of children a woman will have in her life time – has declined in recent years to below that of the Jewish rate, which is estimated at around 3.0 children per woman.

Thus the natural growth rate of the Arab population is expected to fall slightly below that of the “Jews and others” group, with the Arab sector projected to grow by 57.7% by the year 2048 compared to 61.1% growth in the “Jews and others” category.

By 2048, the CBS report predicts, Israel’s population will have grown to 15.6 million, including more than 12 million people in the “Jews and others” category, with a disproportionate amount of the growth coming from the Jewish segment of the category.

Israel’s Arab population will decline slightly as a proportion of the total population in 2048, falling from 21.0% in 2021 to 20.8%.

As a result of declining birthrates, the Arab-Israeli population’s age structure will undergo a significant change, with far more middle-aged and elderly members and a proportionately smaller number of children and young adults.

While 31% of Arab Israelis in 2021 were in the 0-14 age cohort, by 2065, that age cohort will make up just 22% of the Arab-Israeli sector’s population. The Arab-Israelis over 65, however, will go from 5% in 2021 to 17% by 2065.

The Jewish age structure will remain far more stable, with the percentage of elderly Jews rising from 14% to 15% by 2065, and the percentage under the age of 15 rising from 27% to 29%.

Arab Israelis will make up just 19.3% of Israel’s population by 2065, compared to 80.7% for the “Jews and others” category.

Israel’s Arab population in 2021 included Druze, who made up 7.4% of the Arab population, Christians (6.9%) and Muslims (85.5%).