Study: Average Israeli Family Has 3.72 Members; 13% Have a Single Parent

Arab families are larger on average than Jewish ones, study released ahead of Family Day, formerly Mother's Day, shows.

Thirty-seven percent of the families in Tel Aviv and Haifa have no children, compared to only 22 percent of Jerusalem families, according to data released yesterday by the Central Bureau of Statistics in advance of Family Day, which falls on Friday.

The statistics show that 56 percent of Jerusalem families have children 17 and under, compared to 35 percent of Tel Aviv families and 33 percent of the families in Haifa.

Family Day, formerly Mother’s Day, is marked on the 30th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, the anniversary of the death of Henrietta Szold, the founder of the Hadassah Women’s Organization. The bureau’s data on families is updated through 2012 and doesn’t include certain groups like kibbutzim and the Bedouin.

According to the figures, Israel has 1.87 million families, most of which (63 percent) comprise two parents and children. The rest are made up of couples without children (24 percent) and single-parent families (around 13 percent). The average Israeli family has 3.72 persons in it, similar to the figure of a decade ago. Arab families are larger on average (4.7 persons) than Jewish ones (3.54 persons).

Seventeen percent of Israeli families have four or more children aged 17 and under. Among the Arabs, 29 percent of families have four or more children, while among Jews only 14 percent do. A third of Arab families number six persons or more, compared to less than 10 percent of Jewish families. The highest average family size among Jewish families is in Judea and Samaria, 4.6 persons per family, which is nearly 1.5 times the size of the average Tel Aviv family.

The overwhelming majority of people live with their families – 89 percent of Jews and 98 percent of Arabs aged 15 and over live with family. Most Arab families, 67 percent, have a traditional family structure (two parents and children) while only 46 percent of Jewish families are like that. There are more Jewish childless families (27 percent) and single-parent families (13 percent) than there are in the Arab community, where only 10 percent of families are childless and 10 percentn are single-parent families.

Most Israeli couples, 96 percent, are married, while 69,000 couples are not married. Israel’s ratio of unmarried couples living together (4 percent) is low compared to the rest of the world: In Italy the ratio is 6 percent; in the United States 11 percent; and in Norway 26 percent.

Ilya Melnikov