Israel First in Multiple Births; Moslem Births - Down

The Central Bureau of Statistics has found that some 100,000 Jewish babies were born in Israel in 2005, maintaining a steady rate, while some 34,000 Moslems were born - a drop of some 5.6%.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 14:07

Other findings:

Israel is in first place in the world in multiple-baby births, largely because of the high rate of fertility treatments in the country. In 2003, 5% of all Jewish babies were born in multiple-baby births, compared with only 3.4% of Moslems. The number of such babies born in Israel has risen 29% over the past decade.

Moslem Births - Down
Of the 143,913 babies born in Israel in 2005, 70% were born to Jewish mothers, 24% - Moslem, 2% - Druze, and 1% - Christian Arab. The nearly 1% drop in births from the previous year was largly due to the 5.6% drop in Moslem births.

After remaining at a steady 4.6 or 4.7 births per Moslem woman for some 15 years, this rate has dropped sharply over the past five years to 4. The Jewish sector has remained steady for more than a decade at around 2.6-2.7 births per woman. The number of Druze births has dropped over the past 15 years from an average of 4.1 babies per woman to 2.6. The number of Christian births dropped from 2.7 per woman in 1996 to 2.2 last year.

Single Mothers
Among the Jewish births, 5.5%, or 5,498, were born to single mothers. In 2004, there were 6.6 births for every 1,000 single women, up from 3.6 fifteen years ago.

More Boys
For every 200 baby girls born in 2005, 211 male babies were born.

Young Mothers
In the past decade, the fertility of mothers under the age of 20 dropped by 19%, to a total of just over 4,100 births.

In the past decade, the average age in Israel of a mother at her first birth rose by 17 months, to 26.6 years old.