Muslim birthrate in Israel declines

Nearly 1.5 million Muslim citizens in Israel, roughly 18% of population.

Shlomo Pyotrovsky,

Mosque in Yafo, file
Mosque in Yafo, file
Esther Rubyan/Flash90

Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics published data on Israel’s Muslim population ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins on Monday.

According to the CBS, at the end of 2015 there were roughly 1.488 million Muslims residing in Israel – not including Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Muslims make up roughly 18% of Israel’s population.

The Muslim population grew by more than 34,000 during 2015, marking a continued decline in the Muslim growth rate over the past decade and a half.

In 2000, the CBS noted, the Muslim annual growth rate stood at 3.8%. By 2015, it had fallen to 2.4%.

This corresponds to lower fertility rates among Muslim women. By 2015, Muslim women had on average 3.3 children, compared to 4.7 in 2000.

The city with the largest Muslim population is Jerusalem, with 311,000 Muslims – 20.9% of Israel’s Muslim population and 35.9% of the city.

The second largest concentration of Muslims is the Bedouin town of Rahat in the Negev, with 62,000 Muslims.

While nearly two-thirds (62.8%) of Muslim men over the age of 15 were employed, only 24.6% of Muslim women in that age group were in 2015.

By comparison, 32.4% of Druze women, 45.2% of Christian women, and 65.8% of Jewish women aged 15 and above were in the workforce in 2015.

The Muslim unemployment rate was several points higher than other populations, with 7.2% of Muslims unemployed, compared to 4.9% of Druze, 5.4% of Christians, and 5.1% of Jews).

More Muslim students gained academic degrees in the school year ending 2015, though a wide gap was still present, with 7.3% of all degrees earned going to Muslims, compared to 6.7% in 2014.




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