Population Distribution Program Adopted by Israel Cabinet

The Cabinet yesterday adopted an official population distribution program for Israel based on a population projection of four million within the next five-years and. five million by 1992. Israel’s present population is 3.4 million. The program is the first legally binding plan approved by both the National Planning Council and the Cabinet and will serve as the official guideline for all local and district planning commissions in drafting their future development programs.

It calls for an increase of the population in Galilee, Jerusalem and the Negev regions and a smaller percentage of the population residing in the presently heavily-populated Tel Aviv region. The program is based on Israel’s pre-June 1967 borders but assumes that regardless of any future political settlement, some 30,000 Jews will continue to live in the present administered territories and their number will be multiplied in 20 years.

The plan is based on the assumption that Israel’s population will consist of 3.3 million Jews and some 628,000 non-Jews by the early 1980s. Those figures in turn are based on an expectation of immigration at an annual rate of 40-43,000.

The Jerusalem district will grow more rapidly than any other according to the population distribution plans. Its present population of about 340,000 will increase to 530,000 by 1980. The Tel Aviv area, which now accounts for 28.4 percent of the country’s population will decline in population and by the 1990s only 23.9 percent will live-in that metropolitan region.

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