Christian boy in Nazareth
Christian boy in Nazareth Flash 90

On the eve of Christmas 2021, approximately 182,000 Christians live in Israel; they comprise about 1.9% of the State of Israel’s population. This preliminary estimate does not include Christians who do not appear in the Population Register (foreigners).

The Christian population grew by 1.4% in 2020. Arab Christians comprise 76.7% of the Christians in Israel, and constitute 7.0% of the total Arab population of Israel.

Most of the Arab Christians reside in the Northern District (70.3%) and in the Haifa District (13.5%).

Of non-Arab Christians, 41.7% reside in the Tel Aviv and Central Districts, as compared to 34.2% in the Northern and Haifa Districts.

The localities with the largest Arab Christian populations are Nazareth (21,400), Haifa (16,500), Jerusalem (12,900), and Shefar'am (10,400), as of the end of 2020.

In 2019, 803 Christian couples married in Israel. The average age at the first marriage of Christian grooms was 30.3, and that of Christian brides was 26.7. In 2020, 2,497 infants were born to Christian women, about 72% of whom (1,797 infants) were born to Arab Christian women.

The average number of children up to age 17 in Christian families with children up to this age is 1.93. Of these Christian families, the average number of children up to age 17 in Arab Christian families is 2.04 – smaller than the numbers in Jewish families (2.43) and in Moslem families (2.60).

In the 2020/21 school year, 27,044 Christian students – 1.4% of the total number of students – attended primary and secondary schools. Among Christian students in the twelfth grade, 81.6% of were entitled to a matriculation certificate.

In addition, 53.1% of the Arab Christians and only 35.4% of non-Arab Christians continued their studies toward a first degree within eight years of graduating secondary school, compared to only 34.0% of the total number of secondary school graduates in the Arab school system and 47.2% of all secondary school graduates in Hebrew education.

The proportion of women among the Christian students was higher than women’s proportion among the total number of students in all degrees and particularly in the advanced degrees: 64.1% and 53.2%, respectively, of those studying for a PhD, and 72.9% and 63.8%, respectively, of those studying for a master's degree.

Compared to Moslem Arab students, the percentage of Christian Arab students studying for a bachelor's degree in following fields of study was lower: Business and management sciences, languages, literature and regional studies, and paramedical studies. However, the percentage of those studying engineering and architecture, art, crafts and applied art, and medicine was higher.

Of the total number of students studying toward a first degree, Christians were most highly represented in the following fields: musicology (15.1%), information management systems (12.4%), and transportation engineering (11.2%).

The percentage of participation in the labor force in 2020 among Christians aged 15 and over was 64.6% (68.2% of men and 61.9% of women). This figure was 53.7% among Christian Arabs (62.3% of men and 45.2% of women).

Approximately 17,500 Christians – a rate of 98 per 1,000 persons – were registered at the Ministry of Labor, Welfare, and Social Services in 2020. This percentage was lower than that of Moslems who were registered (approximately 183 per 1,000 persons) and Jews who were registered (107 per 1,000 persons).

In 2020, about 3,500 Christians – a rate of about 20 per 1,000 persons – were placed in social service frameworks. This rate is lower than the rate among Moslems (about 32 per 1,000 persons) and Jews (about 28 per 1,000 persons).

In the court year 2019, the rate of persons judged in criminal trials among the Christian population in Israel was about 211 per 100,000 persons; among persons judged in criminal trials, the rate among non-Arab Christians was substantially higher than that among Arab Christians (about 293 versus 187 per 100,000 persons, respectively).

The rate of persons convicted in criminal trials among the Christian population was about 187 per 100,000 persons; among the convicted persons, the rate among non-Arab Christians was substantially higher than that among Arab Christians (about 259 versus 166 per 100,000 persons, respectively).

The most common offences among convicted persons in the Christian population were offences against public order (27.4%), against morality (19.7%), and bodily harm (16.4%).

On the issue of life satisfaction, 84% of Christians are satisfied with their life, with 24% answering “very satisfied” and 60% “satisfied.”