Jewish-Arab Demography Defies Conventional Wisdom

(Jewish Policy Center) Yoram Ettinger - In 2016, there were 3.16 births per Jewish woman in Israel compared with 3.11 per Arab woman. Almost all Arab girls in Israel and the West Bank now complete high school, and increasingly enroll in colleges and universities, a process that has delayed the wedding age. According to the Population Reference Bureau, women in the Palestinian Authority rank second (72%) - following Morocco (78%) and together with Jordan (70%) - among Muslim users of contraceptives and general avoidance of pregnancy. Furthermore, an intense urbanization process has transformed Arabs in the West Bank from a 70% rural society in 1967 to a 75% urban society - from a society which provided a convenient environment for a multitude of children who were considered an essential labor force, to a society which does not require many children. Indeed, a dramatic decline in Islamic fertility rate has taken place throughout the Muslim world. Moreover, there has been an Arab net-emigration from the West Bank of around 20,000 annually in recent years. In 2017, the share of Jewish births in Israel was 76.5%. The rise of Israel's Jewish fertility rate is due to the secular Jewish sector, including the yuppies of Tel Aviv - a derivative of the high level of optimism and patriotism, the attachment to national roots, and a sense of collective-communal responsibility. In 2018, notwithstanding official Palestinian numbers which are regurgitated without due diligence, there are 6.6 million Jews in Israel, next to 1.85 million Israeli Arabs and 1.85 million Arabs in the West Bank. The writer is a member of the American-Israel Demographic Research Group.

2018-04-20 00:00:00

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