09/25/2008, 00.00
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Israel has more than 7 million inhabitants, 20 percent are Arab

According to the central statistics office, Jews have a longer life expectancy, about four years more than the Arabs. The population is relatively young, with 28.4 percent under the age of 14.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Israel has 7,337,000 inhabitants; 5,542,000, or 75.5 percent, are Jewish, while 1,477,000, or 20.1 percent, are Israeli Arabs. To these numbers, published by the central statistics office of the Jewish state, must be added 318,000 people described as "other", including 200,000 foreign workers. Compared to the previous year, the country has seen population growth of 1.8%.

34.6% of the Jews were born in Israel, to parents who were also born in the country; the largest percentage  (38.5%) have their origin in Europe or America. And 15% are Jews of African origin, while 11.9% come from other Asian countries.

It is a relatively young population, since 28.4% of Israelis are under the age of 14, and 9.8% are 65 and older. There are more women than men - 1,000 women for every 978 men in the population as a whole. At age 75, there are only 672 men for every 1,000 women. The life expectancy is higher for Jews than for Arabs, among both men and women. Jewish women, in fact, have an average life expectancy of 82.5 years, 3.8 years more than the Arabs; life expectancy for Jewish men is 78.8 years, 4 more than for the Arabs.

Geographical distribution is also different for Jews and Arabs. The majority of Jews live in the central part of the country (20.7% in the district of Tel Aviv), while the majority of Arabs live in the northern areas, where they represent 53.7% of the residents.

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