Latest Statistics: Rising Jewish Births in Israel


babiesGood news for Jewish demographics in Israel: the latest statistics released by the Central Bureau of Statistics shows a rising birth rate in the Jewish sector. However, Jewish family sizes are still smaller than those in the Arab population The data on families and family size published yesterday in honor of the beginning of “Family Day” showed that the number of Jewish births has increased by 45 percent in less than two decades, from 80,400 in 1995 to 117,000 in 2008.  At the same time, the Arab birthrate has remained stable at approximately 39,000 a year. As a result, the “fertility gap” between Arab and Jewish families has shrunk to only 0.7 percent, and the proportion of Jewish births has grown from under 70 percent in 1995 to 75 percent in 2008.

Demographer Yoram Ettinger said the statistics were cause for celebration among those who desire a strong Jewish majority in Israel.

According to the census, the average Israeli family includes 3.7 members. Jewish families averaged at 3.5 members, as compared to 4.9 in Arab families.

The largest Israeli families on average are located in Judea and Samaria, where the average family numbers 4.5 members, followed by families in the Yerushalayim area and in the north with 4.3 and 4.1 members, respectively. Families in central Israel had an average of 3.6 members, compared to 3.5 members per family in the Haifa district, 3.8 members per family in the south, and 3.2 members per family in Tel Aviv.

More than one-third of the Arab families in Israel number six or more members, while only 10 percent of Jewish families include six or more members.

 {Yair Israel}