Israel’s population is close to 9 million entering 2018, the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics releasing its end of 2017 report on Sunday.
The Bureau reported 8,793,00 residents in Israel, a population growth of 165,000 in 2017. There were a reported 180,000 babies born and an overall population growth of 1.9%.
Over 27,000 immigrants made “aliyah” (term used for Jewish immigration to the State of Israel), contributing to 18% of the population’s increase this year. 27% of immigrants came from Russia, 25.5% from Ukraine, 13.5% from France, close to 10% from the United States, 5.1% from Asian countries and 4.3% from Africa.
Israel was ranked 11th in high life expectancy, an increase since last year. Israelis live 82.45 years on average compared to a global average of 80.5.
Israel is also one of the happiest countries in the world, with Israel’s Bureau of Statistics reporting that 93% of Israelis are “overall happy with their life”.
Israel’s Ministry of Tourism announced mid-year that 2017 had the highest number of tourists to Israel in the nation’s 69-year history. It reported that tourism to Israel in April alone increased by 38% compared to April 2016. Increases in tourism continued through out 2017, with a 28% increase from the number of tourists between January and April 2016 to January and April 2017.
Israel saw a record number of tourists in the first half of 2017, with the highest number of tourists in Israel’s history. According to statistics released by the Central Bureau of Statistics in the summer, the most popular time for tourism in Israel, a record number of 1.74 million visited Israel in the first half of 2017 alone, with over 25% increase in tourists to Israel in the first half of 2017 in comparison to 2016.
Prime Minister Netanyahu wished the global community a Happy New Year, thanking those countries which have supported the Jewish state through out 2017. He stated on Sunday “To our many friends around the world- Happy New Year! I hope you are celebrating the new year with your loved ones. I hope you reach all your goals and dreams for the coming years. I want to say thanks for supporting Israel, the one true democracy in a very, very big region. Happy New Year!”
This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, January 1, 2018, and reposted with permission.