Muslim, Jewish Birth Rate Nearly Equal, Numbers Show

YERUSHALAYIM -

There were 1,598,000 Muslims living in Israel, the Central Bureau of Statistics said in an annual report on the state of the Muslim community. The report related figures correct up to December 31st, 2018 and takes into account Arabs within the 1948 armistice lines and Yerushalayim, not including Yehudah and Shomron. The report was released as a major festival was celebrated this week in the Muslim world.

That nearly 1.6 million figure accounts for 17.8% of Israel’s population, with the population growing by 37,000 during 2018. Those Muslims lived in 316,000 households, compared to only 12% of all Israeli households with the large families and extended family living arrangements common among many Muslims. According to the data, 32% of Muslim households had six or more members, compared to only 7% with that number among Jews.

With that, the birth rate of Jews and Arabs has almost reached parity. The birth rate for Muslims in 2018 was 3.2 children, down from 3.37 in 2017. The average birth rate among Jews is 3.17, compared to 2.06 for Christians and 2.16 for Druze. The Muslim population in Israel is largely young, with 33.8% of all Muslims age 14 and under. Only 4.2% of the community is age 65 or older.

Yerushalayim, including the Old City and its eastern neighborhoods, has by far the largest concentration of Muslims, with a total of 337,000 – 21.1% of all Muslims living in Israel, and 36.6% of the population of Yerushalayim. Second in size is Rahat, with 68,900 Muslim residents, followed by Nazareth and Umm el-Faham, both with about 55,000 residents, the CBS said.