Girl holding Israeli flag
Girl holding Israeli flagISTOCK

The total number of Israelis living in Judea and Samaria rose to 463,901 by the end of 2019, according to a report released by the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization representing Israeli towns in the area.

By the close of 2019, fifty-two years since the area came under Israeli control during the 1967 Six Day War, the population in Judea and Samaria’s nearly 150 Israeli towns surpassed 450,000, rising to 463,901, with a total annual net growth rate of 3.4%.

While that figure is lower than the average growth rate in Judea and Samaria over the past decade (4.1%), it represents an increase over 2018 and marks the end of a decline in the Israeli growth rate in the area.

Since 2012, the annual growth rate in Judea and Samaria has declined, falling from 4.7% in 2012 to 3.0% in 2018.

In 2019, the Israeli population of Judea and Samaria rose by 15,229, compared to a rise of 12,964 in 2018.

Over the last decade, the population has increased by a total of 151,263, representing a 48% increase.

The four Israeli cities in Judea and Samaria – Modiin Illit, Beitar Illit, Maale Adumim, and Ariel – made up 43% of the total Israeli population in the area, with 202,177 residents total.

Local townships made up another 21% with 98,357 residents, with the remaining 36%, or 163,367 residents living in unincorporated towns in regional councils.

The biggest proportional increase in population in 2019 was recorded in Beit Haaravah in the Megillot Regional Council in the Dead Sea area, which increased by 36.5%.

In second place was Ovnat, also in the Megillot Regional Council, which grew by 33.5% last year, followed by Alei Zahav in the Samaria Regional Council, which grew by 23.3%, and Maale Amos in Gush Etzion, which grew by 21.1%.

Last week, a separate report on the Israeli population in Judea and Samaria was released by former National Union MK Yaakov Katz.

Titled the “West Bank Jewish Population Stats” report, the study found there are 463,353 Israelis living in Judea and Samaria, as of January 1st, and included a breakdown of the population by region and town.