New CBS report: Muslims over a third of J'lem population

Muslims were biggest minority in Israel at end of 2009; birthrate stood at 3.7 children per woman, higher than in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.

November 15, 2010 18:51
1 minute read.
Muslim women and children (illustrative).

Muslims 311. (photo credit: Kevin R. Wexler/The Record/MCT)


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Muslims were the biggest minority in Israel at end of 2009, with an average birthrate standing at 3.7 children per woman – the highest of any community in the country and greater than that of Muslims in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.

At this time, the Muslim population here was estimated to be 1,286,000 people, an increase of 32,000 people from the end of the previous year, according to new figures released by the Central Bureau of Statistics on Monday. The birthrate had dropped from 4.7 children per woman in 2000 to the 3.7 figure in 2009.

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Meanwhile, the average birthrate among Jews in Israel is 2.96, according to another CBS study.

Among the country’s Muslims, 264,000 thousand (20.5 percent) live in Jerusalem, constituting over a third (34.2%) of all the capital’s residents, and making it the largest community of Muslims within Israel.

The second largest contingency in Israel was in Rahat, where 51,600 Muslims live, followed by Nazareth with 49,600 and Umm el-Fahm with 46,000.

The figures also show that the workforce participation among Muslims ages 15 and over in Israel in 2009 was 39.8% – 61% among men and 18% among women. In comparison, workforce participation for Jews here was 59.6%.


In terms of faith, nine percent of Muslims define themselves as very religious, 51% as religious, 29% as not so religious and 10% as not religious.

Regarding education, Muslim students in Israeli universities now account for 6.5% of all students, compared to 3.1% in 1989.

The figures show that Muslim university students in comparison to their Jewish counterparts are more likely to pursue studies in the medical fields and less likely to study engineering and architecture.

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