Fertility rates of Arab and Jewish Israelis equal for first time

According to the findings, last year Jewish and Arab Israeli women alike were expected, over the course of their lifetimes, to have an average of 3.13 children.

November 16, 2016 17:07
2 minute read.
Maternity ward illustrative

Maternity ward illustrative. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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In 2015, for the first time in the state’s history, Jewish and Arab women had the same fertility rate, according to a report the Central Bureau of Statistics released this week to mark International Day of the Child.

According to the findings, last year Jewish and Arab Israeli women alike were expected, over the course of their lifetimes, to have an average of 3.13 children.

In 2000, the Arab fertility rate was 4.3 children per woman, while the Jewish rates was 2.6 children per woman, a according to the report. During the last decade the gap narrowed as Arab fertility rates declined, and Jewish fertility rates increased.

Forty-one percent of the Arab population are children, compared to 32% among the Jews, the researchers reported.

There were 2.798 million children in Israel at the end of 2015, accounting for 33% of the population. Of these children, 1.996 million (71.3%) are Jews, 718,000 are Arab (25.7%) and 84,000 are non-Arab Christians and others (3%).

There were 2.4 children per household throughout the country, the data indicated. Beit Shemesh had the highest average at 3.8 children per household, followed by Bnei Brak with 3.4 and Jerusalem with 3 per household. Bat Yam had the lowest average with only 1.8 children per household.

The vast majority of Israeli children, some 92%, lived with both parents while 210,000 (8%) lived with one parent.

In 2014, 865 girls up to the age of 17 were married, some 88% of whom were Muslim.

Furthermore, in 2015, 316 girls up to the age of 17 had babies, of them 248 were Muslim and 58 were Jewish.

The average income of households with children was 1.3 times higher than those without children – NIS 17,658 per month compared to NIS 13,624 per month. However, the average expenditure per household with children was 1.4 times higher – NIS 14,677 per month compared to NIS 10,422 per month.

The monthly expenditure of households in the top 10% on income on education was 3.5 times higher than that of the households in the bottom 10% – NIS 2,501 compared to NIS 712 per month.

The number of students eligible for a high school matriculation certificate stood at 74% in 2014/15, compared to 73.5% the previous year, the report stated.

With regards to health, in 2015, 21% of first-graders and 31% of seventh-graders were overweight or obese, similar to the previous year.

Among Jews, the rate of obesity significantly increased from 24% in 2011-2014 to 29% in 2015. Among Arabs, nearly 40% of seventh-grade children were overweight or obese.

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