Jerusalem, 18 April 1999

Central Bureau of Statistics Population Report

(Communicated by Central Bureau of Statistics)

In 1998, the population of Israel grew by 2.8%, reaching a total of 6.038 million. This represents a continuation in the downward trend of the rate of population growth, due mainly to a decline in the number of immigrants coming to Israel.

The Central District, whose population at the end of 1998 stood at 1.355 million, had the largest amount of growth, 3.6%. As in 1997, the main factor in the population growth in the district was the decision of new immigrants to settle there.

The rate of population growth of the Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza continued to decline: 7% in 1998, compared with 9% in 1997. At the end of 1998, the total population of these communities stood at 172,000.

At the end of 1998, 12 cities had populations of 100,000 or more, the largest being Jerusalem (632,000), Tel Aviv (350,000), Haifa (265,000), Rishon Le-Zion (187,000) and Beersheba (164,000).