Jewish Birthrate Rising in Israel

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Figures released by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics revealed that Israelis are having bigger families, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Media Relations Department reported.

On the eve of the Jewish year 5771, Israel's total population stands at 7,645,000, with Jews making up 75.5 percent of the total.

Hebrew University Prof. Sergio DellaPergola attributes the trend to several key factors: the high birthrate among the ultra-Orthodox, a sense of security among the general population because of the stable economy, increasing immigration, and the rise of anti-Semitism.

"Although the number of immigrants is relatively low compared to earlier years in the 62-year history of the State, it is still higher than in the previous year and shows the influence of the problematic economic situation in the world and the uncomfortable feeling due to trends toward anti-Semitism and anti-Israel feelings," DellaPergola said.

The professor pointed out that the reverse trend is emerging among Diaspora Jewry, due to intermarriage and an aging population.

"While the Jewish population in Israel grew by 1.7 percent in the past year, the Jewish population in the Diaspora declined by 0.2 percent," DellaPergola said.

"The net result is a steady gain in the percentage of Jewry residing in Israel, currently standing at 43 percent of the total world Jewish population," he said.

Outside of Israel, the U.S. has the largest Jewish population with 5.3 million Jews, followed by France (485,000), Canada (375,000), Great Britain (292,000), Russia (205,000), Argentina (182,000), Germany (119,000), Australia (108,000) and Brazil (96,000).

For more information on the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Mount Scopus, visit their website.

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