Israeli Muslim Birth Rate is Double that of Jews

(February 2003)

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics reported that Israeli Muslims have a natural reproduction rate that is double that of the Jewish population. The figures, which also include Muslims in East Jerusalem, show that at the beginning of 2003 there were more than one million Muslims in Israel. Almost 40% of the country’s Muslims (400,000 people) live in various communities in the north, the biggest of which is the city of Nazareth, which has 40,000 Muslim residents. Jerusalem has the largest Muslim population, with over 200,000. They make up some 30% of the city’s residents and some 20% of the country’s entire Muslim population. The number of Muslim residents in Israel at the start of 2003 stands at around 1,037,000, about 15% of Israel’s population. According to forecasts, the Muslim population will rise to 1,677,000 people, or 19% of the population, by the end of 2020. Muslims make up 82% of the entire Israeli Arab population, and they will comprise 85% of the Israeli Arab population in 2020. The Muslim population’s average natural rate of increase over the past few years is double that of the Jewish population: 3.6% compared to 1.8%. This rate of increase is one of the highest in the world, even higher than in neighboring Arab countries. Israel’s Muslim population is also young: 42% of Muslims are children under the age of 15, compared with 26% of the Jewish population. The percentage of people over 65 is less than 3% of Muslims, compared with 12% of the Jewish population.

Source: Yedioth Ahronoth, (February 13, 2003)