According to initial end-of-year figures released by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, aliyah hit a 10-year high in 2014, with the arrival of some 26,500 new immigrants. This marks a 32 percent increase over 2013.
For the first time, France tops the list of countries of origin for immigrants to Israel, with nearly 7,000 new immigrants in 2014, double the 3,400 who came the year before.
Some 5,840 new immigrants came from Ukraine, compared to some 2,020 in 2013. This dramatic 190 percent increase is due primarily to the ongoing instability in the eastern part of the country.
Aliyah from western Europe is up 88 percent, with the arrival of some 8,640 immigrants. Some 620 came to Israel from the United Kingdom, a 20 percent increase over 2013. The number from Italy doubled to some 340. Aliyah from Belgium saw a modest decrease, to 240. German aliyah remained stable, at approximately 120.
Aliyah from the former Soviet Union was up 50 percent, with the arrival of some 11,430 immigrants, with 4,830 from Russia, Belarus and the Baltic states, 300 from the Caucasus and 390 from Central Asia.
Aliyah from Latin America remained stable, with the arrival of some 1,070 immigrants. Aliyah from Brazil saw a 45 percent increase, with 300 immigrants, and approximately 297 came from Argentina, 76 from Mexico, 70 from Venezuela, 62 from Colombia, 58 from Uruguay and 52 from Chile.
Aliyah from North America increased modestly, with the arrival of some 3,870 immigrants compared to 3,600 in 2013. Approximately 3,470 immigrants came from the United States and 400 immigrants came from Canada, compared to 384 the year before.
Eastern Europe saw 232 people make aliyah, compared to approximately 270 in 2013. Approximately 126 came from Hungary, 32 from Poland, 24 from Romania and 24 from Bulgaria.
Some 190 immigrants came to Israel from South Africa, roughly the same as 2013, while 200 came from Australia and New Zealand, a slight decrease from the year before.
More than half of the immigrants who came to Israel in 2014 were under the age of 35. The eldest immigrant was born in 1910 and made aliyah from France at the age of 104. The youngest came from the United States and was only several weeks old. Tel Aviv led the chart of cities receiving new immigrants, with approximately 3,000 new Tel Avivians. The coastal city of Netanya came second and Jerusalem came in third.