IDF Caracal Battalion .
(photo credit: IDF)
The number of conscripts joining the IDF is down 3.5% over the past 5 years, Army Radio revealed on Wednesday night, citing demographic changes as the cause of the shift.
Not all populations, such as religious Jewish women and most non-Druze Arabs are mandated to join the army, however many others find loopholes to avoid serving.
Despite the trend, in 2015 haredi males were joining the IDF at a higher rate than five years previously, and there was a rise of 400% in the number of women serving in combat roles, with new mixed-gender battalions opened during that time.
Religious Jewish women, who have the option to take up national service outside the IDF if they choose, are also joining the IDF at a higher rate than in previous years.