Daily Israel Report

Report: Druze Less Fertile than Jews

Average birthrate of Druze women in Israel is 2.5 children - down from seven in the 1970s.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/26/2011, 4:09 PM / Last Update: 4/26/2011, 4:13 PM

Flash 90

The average birthrate of Druze women in Israel is 2.5 children - down from an average of about seven children in the 1970s. This statistic means that Druze women are, on average, less fertile than Muslim and Jewish women (with Total Fertility Rates of 2.9 and 3.7, respectively), but more fertile than Christian Arab women (TFR of 2.1).

The stats were released by the Central Bureau of Statistics in honor of the Druze Holiday of Nabi Shueib, and reported by Voice of Israel state-run radio. 
 
The explanation for the drop in Druze births includes a rise in the average marrying age and the use of contraceptions.    
 
According to a report published by Prof. Oz Almog and Sharon Hornstein, last updated in 2009, the entire Arab-speaking populace - Muslims and Christian Arabs included - has become less fertile. However, the decline in the Muslim birthrate stopped in the mid-1980s and stabilized at about 4.7 children per woman, while the Druze birthrate continued to drop. This is explained by a process of secularization and increased exposure to the influence of Jewish society.
 
Among Christian women, births were beneath 4 per woman in the early 1970s and stabilized at a TFR of under 2.5 in the mid-1980s.
 
When the State of Israel was founded in 1948, there were about 14,500 Druze living within it. They are now estimated at near 120,000, with 14,500 living in the town of Yarka alone, and another 15,000 in Dalyat El-Carmel, east of Haifa.