Rishon LeZion Demographics



Profile (2012 Data)
Number of residents: 235,000

Number of households: 77,000, 84% of which are families

Gender: Men – 49%, Women – 51%

New immigrants: 44,000

Age: 0-19 – 26%, 20-44 – 35%, 45-64 – 26%, 65+ - 12%

Median age: 36

Family status: Singles – 26%, Married – 59%, Divorced – 8%, Widowed – 7%

Ethnic origin: Native-born – 35%, Asia – 17%, Africa – 15%, Europe/US – 33%

Family type: Couples without children – 27%, Couples with children up to age 18 – 42%, Single parent with children up to age 18 – 6%, Parents with children aged 18+ – 25%

Natural population growth: Births – 3,654, Deaths – 1,257

Average number of persons per household: 3.16

Average density: 0.79 per room 

Demographic Changes
Rishon LeZion is the fourth largest city in Israel, after Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. It has seen rapid growth – from 150 residents in 1882 when it was founded, to 18,000 in 1950 when it received city status, to 102,182 according to the 1983 census, and 235,000 residents in 2012.

The city’s most impressive population growth took place in the 1990s, with 63,000 new residents. In the first decade of the 2000s, increase of the number of residents tapered off at 14% for that entire period. Since 2008, growth has stemmed mainly from natural increase. Yet Rishon is still the city with the lowest population density in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area (3,967 people per km).

Vital Statistics
In the first decade of the 2000s, there was 25% growth through natural increase. The rate per 1,000 residents rose to 10.5 in 2011. The birthrate per 1,000 residents rose slightly to 15.9 and the death rate rose slightly to 5.4. The city’s infant mortality rate is among the lowest in Israel (1.7%), compared both to the national Jewish average (3.1%) and to the other big cities.

Distribution according to age and gender
Since the beginning of the 2000s Rishon has seen changes in the composition of the age groups in the city’s population. The rate of children and teenagers dropped by 1.2% whereas the rate of seniors aged 65 and over increased by 48.4%. The average age in 2010 was 36.

Country of birth and ethnicity
Close to three-fourths (71%) of the city’s Jewish residents were born in Israel, 10% in Asia-Africa, and 19% in Europe-America. Thirty-one percent of the residents are of Asian-African descent, 33% of European-American descent, and 36% (or their fathers) were born in Israel.

Marriage and divorce
Forty-four percent of city residents are married and 24% are parents with children under 18. Four percent are unmarried parents with children under 18. Between 2000 and 2010 there was an increase of 31% in the number of grooms and an increase of 16% in the number of brides. The rate of grooms per 1,000 residents decreased from 18.7 to 13.0, and of brides from 19.4 to 14.4. From 2000-2010 the divorce rate held steady for men (5.6) and almost unchanged for women (from 5.4 to 5.3).

Population according to region
Thirty-eight percent of city residents live in its eastern quarter, 23% in the central quarter (the Old City), and 39% in the “new” western quarter. From 2000-2011 the population of the eastern quarter grew 13.3%, compared to 38.3% in the western quarter and 0.6% in the center. During that same period the rate of residents in the western quarter out of the total city population crept from 36% to 39%. The new neighborhoods characteristically boast a relatively high percentage of children and low percentage of seniors. The neighborhoods in the old city center tend to have a relatively high percent of seniors and new immigrants.

Migration within the city
In 2011, nearly 11,600 residents – one out of every 20 – changed their address within the community.

Migration into and out of the city
This is now the fourth consecutive year in which the balance of migration between Rishon and other communities has come out negative. The overall trend of Rishon losing population to its neighboring communities is continuing. More residents from Rishon’s neighbors to the northwest, Bat Yam and Holon, are moving to Rishon than vice versa; whereas the opposite is true regarding Rishon and its neighbors to the south, Nes Ziona and Rehovot.

New immigrants
In 2011, 366 new immigrants were absorbed into the city upon first arriving in Israel, mostly from the CIS. Eighteen percent of city residents are new immigrants who arrived in the country from 1990 on. The immigrant population is older than the veteran Israeli population, as it has fewer children and more seniors. The new immigrants live mainly in the areas near the city center.

Rishon LeZion has the fourth largest population size of all Israeli cities. In recent years the growth rate is 1%, mostly from natural increase. The city’s population is still considered to be fairly young, although an aging population process is evident. Migration among communities is currently in a negative trend; more residents are leaving the city than those moving to live there. The percentage of new immigrants is high, also due to the internal migration of immigrants to the city from other communities in Israel. The largest residential area in terms of number of residents is the western quarter, which has developed a great deal over the past decade.