A review by the Central Bureau of Statistics this week gives an interesting picture of the future of the State of Israel (in total disregard of the ramblings of Ahmadinejad). It is suggested that Israel's population is expected to grow from around 7 million today to between 9.6 and 10.6 million by 2030.
The projection, based on 2005 population statistics, was also derived from three possible options - high, middle and low - differentiated by various assessments of differing components of population growth.
According to the middle option, the average annual growth rate between 2006 and 2030 will be 1.4 percent. 93% of the projected growth is estimated to be derived from natural growth, while the remaining 7% is expected to be the result of immigration.
The number of Jews in 2030 is expected to be 7.2 million, from 5.3 million at the end of 2005. The number of Arabs is expected to be 2.4 million of the population from 1.4 million in 2005.
The number of residents aged 65 years and over is expected to grow to 14% (693,000) from 10%.(1.4 million) and the percentage of children under age 14 will grow decrease from 28% to 25%. Nevertheless the numbers will grow from 2 to 2.5 million
The full statistical report is available at www.cbs.gov.il .
What this will mean for the community is a need for more cities, sheltered accommodation, more schools, more buildings, new towns, more infrastructure, more electricity, more water. How many more roads we can build in this tiny country? Transportation methods will have to change, the railway system is proving very successful but it needs to provide more access to the more remote areas of the country.
With growth rates in the economy forecast to be 3.5% next year in spite of the global downturn (lower than the 5- 5.5% we have achieved in the last few years) perhaps we can generate enough GDP to start these projects early rather than at the last minute as has been the case in the past.
It is going to be an interesting future!!