World Jewish News
New immigrants who arrived in December 2010 in Israel show their new ID cards.
2010 marked by a 16% increase in the number of new immigrants to Israel
More than 19,000 ‘olim’ or new immigrants chose to make their home in Israel in 2010, a 16% increase in comparison with 2009, according to figures from the Jewish Agency and the Israeli ministry of immigrant absorption.
This is the second year in a row showing an increase in the number of new immigrants, following 10 years of declining numbers.
" am very pleased to see the statistics pointing to a rise in aliyah (immigration) from almost everywhere in the world, particularly in light of the campaign of de-legitimizing Israel happening around the world," said Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency.
He greeted several of the new immigrants upon their arrival and give them their ID cards.
"Many of the new immigrants are young people from free countries who feel that they belong to the State of Israel and chose to build their lives and the lives of their children here," he added.
"The Jewish Agency will continue to develop programs for strengthening the connection between young Jews in the Diaspora and the State of Israel and for increasing the number of olim."
By the end of December, the total number of new immigrants from around the world reached 19,130. In 2009, the figure was 16,465 and 15,452 in 2008.
In 2010, around 7,700 new immigrants or 40% of the total number came from the former Soviet Union (FSU), eastern Europe and Germany, as opposed to 7,133 last year (an increase of 8%).
From North America, the number stands at 3,980, as compared to 3,767 last year (a 6% rise). The number of ‘olim’ from Latin America is 1,470, compared to 1,200 last year, a significant rise of 19%.
A clear rise is seen in the numbers of new immigrants from Australia and New Zealand (260 as opposed to 175 last year, a 48% rise), Belgium (250 compared to 152 last year, a 63% increase), Switzerland (120 as opposed to 94 last year or a 30% rise), Italy (110 compared to 89 or a 25% increase), India (48 compared to 30 last year or a 60% increase.
2,040 new immigrants came from France as opposed to 1,894 last year (8% increase), 760 from Great Britain (down from 853 last year).
From Ethiopia the number stands at 1,650, the rate of immigration from there being set by the Israeli government. The number last year stood at 240.
Despite the improving economic situation in the FSU, there was an increase of 7% in the number of new immigrants from 2009, and an increase of 25% from 2008. Out of the 7,300 new immigrants from the FSU (as opposed to 6,820 last year and 5,880 in 2008) there will be more than 1,000 from Moscow, the 7th year in a row there is such a level of ‘aliyah’ from the Russian capital.
The country showing the most significant increase in Jewish immigration is Venezuela: 150 new immigrants came in 2010 as opposed to 38 in 2009. This is an increase of 280%.
Increased aliyah is also seen from Argentina (380 this year, 313 last year), Mexico (180 this year as opposed to 140 last year) and Peru (140 this year compared to 105 in 2009).
New immigrants also came this year from China (10), Monaco (4), Japan (3), Hong Kong (3), Honduras 93), Malawi (2) and Guadeloupe (2). Only one new immigrant came from the group of countries Malta, Singapore, Korea, Kenya and Rwanda.
52.3% of the new immigrants are male and 47.7% female. Jerusalem is the leading city of absorption, with 2,397 new immigrants. The most plentiful month was July, during which 2,293 new immigrants arrived. The average age of the immigrants stands at 29.75. The age of the oldest new immigrant to Israel in the year 2010 is 99.
"Successful aliyah and absorption have always been and always will be the core of the Zionist enterprise and a guarantee of the growth of the Jewish state. I am happy that the trend changed over the last two years and the number of olim is rising," said Israeli Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver.
by: Maureen Shamee