For much of Jewish history, most Jews have lived in the diaspora where aliyah was developed as a national aspiration for the Jewish people, although it was not usually fulfilled until the development of the Zionist movement in the late nineteenth century. The large-scale immigration of Jews to Palestine began in 1882. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, more than 3 million Jews have moved to Israel. As of 2014, Israel and adjacent territories contain 42.9% of the world's Jewish population.
The original day
The original day chosen for Yom HaAliyah, the tenth of Nisan, is laden with symbolism. Although a modern holiday created by the Knesset of Israel, the tenth of Nisan is a date of religious significance for the Jewish People as recounted in the Hebrew Bible and in traditional Jewish thought.
Yom HaAliyah, as a modern holiday celebration, began in 2009 as a grassroots community initiative and young Olim self-initiated movement in Tel Aviv, spearheaded by the TLV Internationals organization of the Am Yisrael Foundation. On June 21, 2016 the Twentieth Knesset voted in favor of codifying the grassroots initiative into law by officially adding Yom HaAliyah to the Israeli national calendar. The Yom HaAliyah bill was co-sponsored by Knesset members from different parties in a rare instance of cooperation across the political spectrum of the opposition and coalition.
The number of immigrants since 1882 by period, continent of birth, and country of birth is given in the table below. Continent of birth and country of birth data is almost always unavailable or nonexistent for before 1919.