Poll: 14% of All Israelis Are Divorced, Jews Divorce More Than Muslims

Central Bureau of Statistics data show Israel 29th out of 39 developed nations in terms of divorce rate, in 2014; Eilat's rate highest of all cities; least divorces among ultra-Orthodox.

A wedding between members of two Hasidic sects in Israel, January 2016.
Gil Cohen-Magen

The proportion of divorced people in Israel puts it 25th in a ranking of 39 developed countries examined, most of them members of the OECD, according to a report by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics.

At the top of the list in terms of divorce are Denmark, the United States, and Sweden; Mexico, Ireland and Chile have the lowest rates.

The CBS report, released Sunday, reveals that in 2014, 14,430 couples divorced in Israel, of which 11,435 were Jewish, 2,101 Muslim, 120 Christian and 153 Druze. The proportion of the country's population that’s divorced rose from a mere 2 percent in 1972 to 13 percent in 2014.

Moreover, Israel's Jews divorce more frequently than Arab citizens: They made up 14 percent of the population of all adult (i.e., aged 35-64) divorcees in 2014, while Arab divorcees constituted only 4 percent of the total.

The fact that divorce has become more frequent over the years is evident from the following CBS data: Only 0.3 percent of couples who married in the early 1970s dissolved their marriages within a year, while 15 years later, 11 percent of them were divorced. Among couples who wed in the mid-1990s, however, 0.5 percent divorced within a year, while 19.5 percent of those couples were no longer formally married after 15 years, .

One-quarter of Eilat’s adult population is divorced, the highest rate in the country. It’s followed by Bat Yam (22 percent), Upper Nazareth and Kiryat Yam (20 percent each), and then by Arad, Sderot and Acre (19 percent each). In the statistical category of cities with more than 10,000 people, the locales with the lowest proportion of divorced people are ultra-Orthdox: Rechasim (5 percent), Elad (4 percent), Betar Ilit (3 percent) and Modi’in Ilit (2 percent).