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Prospective Immigration to Israel Through 2030: Methodological Issues and Challenges Nitzan Peri and Sofia Phren Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel. Joint Eurostat/UNECE Work Session on Demographic Projections Lisbon, April 28-30, 2010 . Objectives.

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Prospective Immigration to Israel Through 2030: Methodological Issues and ChallengesNitzan Peri and Sofia PhrenCentral Bureau of Statistics, Israel

Joint Eurostat/UNECE Work Session on Demographic Projections

Lisbon, April 28-30, 2010


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Objectives Methodological Issues and Challenges

  • To estimate the number of immigrants expected to arrive in Israel during the next two decades.

    • Identifying sources and motivations to immigrate to Israel.

    • Defining difficulties in projecting immigration to Israel.

    • Describing the implications of immigration on the Israeli population.


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The Immigration to Israel Methodological Issues and Challenges

  • The majority of immigrants arriving in Israel are Jewish, also arriving are their non-Jewish family relatives, who immigrate under the Law of Return (1950).

  • The immigration to Israel also includes:

    • Immigrating citizens – A person, born to an Israeli citizen during his/her stay abroad, who enters Israel with an intention to settle.

    • Family reunification – A person who receives permanent resident status in Israel under the Law of Entry (1952). In most cases these are non-Jewish spouses or first kin of citizens or permanent residents of Israel.

  • Not included: foreign workers, students and refugees.


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Immigrants Methodological Issues and Challenges* by Year of Immigration and Last Continent of Residence , 1948-2008



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Determinants of Immigration to Israel 1948-2008

  • A large share of the Jewish immigration to Israel was dominated by “push” factors, such as national and religious persecutions and economic crises.

  • “Pull” factors, such as religious and Zionistic ideology have also played an important role, especially among immigrants from Western Europe and North America.

  • In some cases, immigration is dependant on political factors, which are particularly hard to predict – For example the immigration of nearly one million people from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s.




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Building Assumptions 1948-2008

  • The assumptions for the immigration projection were based on recent trends of immigration to Israel and estimates of the Jewish population outside Israel, which constitutes the main source of immigration to Israel.

  • Three different scenarios (high, medium and low) are specified for each major source of immigration.

  • The total prospective immigration to Israel is the sum of the high, medium and low scenarios of each source.

  • The projections are sub-divided into five years periods from 2006 through 2030.




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Conclusions and Future Implications 1948-2008

  • The number of immigrants arriving in Israel will continue to decrease in the coming decades, both in absolute terms and in relation to the total population of Israel.

  • The share of net migration of total population growth will be reduced to the low levels that were recorded in the 1980s (only 6%).

  • Political and social factors might cause an unexpected change in the current trend, however, an event of mass immigration to Israel is not likely to repeat itself.


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