New government figures have shown that there are approximately 21,000 British residents who were born in Israel – but only 8,000 who have Israeli nationality.
The estimated figures embed a huge generational increase in the number of Israelis coming to the UK, with the 2001 Census recording only 11,890 British citizens born in Israel.
The new dataset was taken from the Annual Population Survey, which is the Labour Force Survey plus various sample boosts, and released this week by the Office of National Statistics.
It sheds new light on the number of Israelis, or Israeli-born residents, living in the UK, and where they live – something researchers have long sought to understand.
Based on data taken from July 2018 to June 2019, the statistics show some surprising population centres for Israeli nationals, with around 1,000 in Waverley and an estimated 2,000 living near the University of Cambridge, where a vibrant tech scene has sprung up.
Of those residents born in Israel, around 1,000 live in Bury, Leeds and Scotland, while 2,000 live in the heavily Orthodox north London area of Hackney and 5,000 people born in Israel live in Barnet, which has one of the largest Jewish populations of any borough.
In November 2015 the Institute of Jewish Policy Research published a report which acknowledged the difficulties of establishing firm numbers.
“Deriving approximate estimates of the size of Britain’s Israeli diaspora has proven to be frustratingly difficult,” the authors wrote. “This empirical lacuna has invited politically expedient, but more often, unscientific or wild speculation about the size and makeup of this population.”