Birthrates among Christians, Muslims, Jews show new trends in Israel

The average Muslim bride is only 21.9 years old, whereas the average Christian bride is 25.4 years old.

October 6, 2014 16:43
1 minute read.

Muslim women pray in Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Israeli Christian and Jewish birth rates both steadily increased during 2013, whereas Muslim fertility rates decreased dramatically, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The new study, published on Sunday, just a day after the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday shows the Muslim growth rate is slowing down; having dropped from 3.8 percent in 2000, to just 2.4% in 2013.

The bureau's study shows the Muslim population growth is still higher than the growth rates of Christian and Jewish populations in Israel. During 2013, the Jewish birth rate was just 1.7% and the Christian was 1.6%.

The study also noted when it comes to marriage, the average Muslim bride and groom tie the knot years before their Christian or Jewish Israeli peers. In 2012, the average Muslim bride and groom were only 21.9 and 26.4 years old, respectively. In comparison, the average Jewish bride and groom in Israel were 28.0 and 25.9, and the average Christian bride and groom were 25.4 and 29.9 respectively.

This data revealed that the majority of Israeli Muslims have children with 37.2% under the age of 14, and only 3.7% are aged 65 and older.

Once married, the average Muslim household is more crowded than a Jewish or Christian household in the same region. The average Muslim household consists of 5.0 persons, whereas the average Christian household contains 3.2 people, and the average Jewish home holds 3.1 people. Of the 272,000 Muslim families currently residing in Israel, more than two thirds are couples living with children.

Once married and settled, most Muslims reside either in northern Israel or the Jerusalem area. The cities with the highest concentrations of Muslims in the city are Rahat, Nazareth and Umm al-Fahm.

More than half the Israeli-Muslim population lives in the north, with the rest living in the greater Jerusalem Area (21.6%), central Israel (11.1%), the South (15.7%), and only 1.1% in Tel Aviv. The city with the greatest number of Muslim inhabitants is Jerusalem, with about 296,000 inhabitants living in the city, making up 36% of the city’s population.

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