An inside look at Israel's Christian minority

170,000 Christians held Israeli citizenship as of 2016. 76% were Christian Arabs and the rest were immigrants, most from the former USSR.

Arutz Sheva,

 A Jewish man walks next to a Santa Claus doll for Christmas in a shop in Jerusalem's Old
A Jewish man walks next to a Santa Claus doll for Christmas in a shop in Jerusalem's Old
Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Flash90

More than 170,000 Christians live in Israel, representing some 2% of the population, according to Central Bureau of Statistics data published Sunday.

At the end of 2016, 78.6% of Israeli Christians were Christian Arabs. The rest were Christians who immigrated to Israel with their families under the Law of Return. Most of them arrived during the wave of mass immigration from Eastern Europe in the 1990s after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

The cities with the largest Christian population in 2016 were Nazareth (22,200), Haifa (15,500), Jerusalem (12,500), and Shfaram (10,100).

The median age of first marriage for Christian men was 29.2, and for women-25.3.

In 2016, there were 2,613 babies were born in 2016 to Christian mothers, 75% of them to Christian Arab mothers.

The average number of children under the age of 17 in Israeli Christian families was 1.8, and in Christian Arab families 2.0, which is less than the comparative levels in the Jewish community (2.4) and the Muslim community (2.8).

A total of 26,787 Christian pupils studied in grade schools and high schools, some 1.6% of all students.

Of all Christian Arab twelfth graders, 73.9% were eligible to receive matriculation certificates (Bagrut).

A high proportion (66.2%) of Israeli Christian 12th grades who took the matriculation exams earned scores high enough to make them eligible for university-standard studies, as opposed to 51.9% of Israeli Druze, 41% of Israeli Muslims and 55.1% of Israeli Jews.

More than two-thirds (68.5%) of Christians aged 15 and above participated in the workforce in 2016.


More Arutz Sheva videos:


top