April 16, 2018, Updated April 17, 2018

Israel’s population on the eve of the country’s 70th birthday stands at 8.84 million according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 10 times more than it was in May 1948, when the population was just 806,000.

The Jewish population now stands at 6.59 million (74.5% of the total), the Arab population is 1.85 million (20.9%), and others (Christians or members of other religions) make up 404,000 (4.6%) of the population.

Over the last year, Israel’s population grew by 163,000 people, some 28,000 of them new immigrants to the country.

Since Israel was founded, more than 3.2 million people have immigrated to the country – most arriving in the 1950s, when the population doubled within four years, and then again in the 1990s, as nearly one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union made their way to Israel.

Over the last 70 years, Israel has undergone massive societal changes. In 1948, the average life expectancy in Israel was 64 years for men and 67 for women. Today that figure has risen to 80.7 years for men and 84.2 years for women. In the UN World Happiness Report earlier this year, Israel was ranked fifth on the longevity scale, after Japan, Korea, Switzerland and Italy.

In the same report, Israel came in at 11th place in overall happiness.

In 1948, 43% of the population owned their own homes, and just 3% owned a car. Today, 68% of Israelis own their own homes, and 70% own at least one vehicle.

Tourism has also seen 10-fold growth, rising from 33,100 tourists in 1948 to Israel’s highest-ever figure of 3,863,400 tourists in 2017. Israelis also love to travel out of the country. In 1948, the population made some 30,000 trips abroad. In 2017, they made a staggering 7,597,400 trips overseas.

Today, 44% of Israelis live in the country’s 15 largest cities, and Jerusalem is the largest of them all with some 882,000 residents.

By 2048, Israel’s population is predicted to reach 15.2 million.

In the high tech industry, there are now 8,000 active high-tech companies operating in Israel, according to Israel Venture Capital Research Center. The center also reported there are 1,487 life science companies, 505 cyber security companies, 356 Israel accelerators and incubators, and 365 active foreign R&D centers.

Find out more about all the changes that have happened in Israel with our timeline of achievement.

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