The number of Jewish citizens towards the Rosh HaShanah New Year nears 6 million, a number burned in Jewish hearts following the Holocaust in which the Nazi regime executed and murdered the same number of European Jews.
The official census figures released Monday state the number of Israeli Jews at 5,770,900, an increase of nearly 67,000 over the previous year. The remainder of the total population of 7,645,000 includes 1,559,100 Arabs, an increase of 23,000.
The Jewish birth rate rose to 2.9 from 2.88, while the Muslim birth rate dropped from 3.84 to 3.73, a continuing trend that belies the claim that Jews will be a minority in the future.
The 1.7 percent growth in the Jewish population was mostly internal, as the once-massive number of new immigrants from the former Soviet Union has dwindled over the past several years. Despite this, the number of new immigrants during the past year was 14,572, a 65 percent increase over the previous year.
The Muslim population grew by 2.8 percent, while the Christian population increased by only 1 percent.
The State of Israel, now 62 years old, remains a young country, with nearly 28 percent of its residents under the age of 15, providing a base for continued economic growth as opposed to the aging population in other countries such as the United States.
Life expectancy also remains high in Israel, where Jewish men live on average to the age of 80.5 years and Jewish women reach an average of 83.9 years.