JERUSALEM (Jan. 24)
Israel’s population reached 2,600, 000 at the end of last year, according to figures released here today by the Central Bureau of Statistics. The total included 300, 000 non-Jews. The 1965 figure represented a population increase of 2. 9 percent during the year compared with a 3. 9 percent increase during 1964. The slower rate of population growth last year was attributed to a decrease in immigration.
Israel’s Arab population is growing at a much faster rate than is the Jewish, official statistics show. During the past 12 years, the Jewish natural increase fell from 26. 3 per thousand to 16. 2. At the same time, the Arab rate rose from 37. 8 per thousand to 48. One-third of Israel’s Jewish population is aged 14 or under but the same age group constitutes half of the Arab population.