For the First Time in Israel's History, Jewish Fertility Rate Surpasses That of Arabs

Arab women had a higher fertility rate than Jews in Israel for years, but data reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics points to a change

Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Baby at the maternity ward in Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv, January 23, 2011.
Baby at the maternity ward in Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv, January 23, 2011.Credit: David Bachar
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

Jewish Israeli women's fertility rate exceeded in 2018 that of their Arab peers, for the first time in the country's history, according to data released Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The rate among Jewish women living in Israel and in Israeli settlement in the West Bank was 3.05 compared to 3.04 for Israeli Arab women. The data excludes Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, who aren't Israeli citizens.

Listen: Under Trump, haters don't need an excuse to attack Jews. Ep. 55

The figures reflect the number of expected births per woman throughout her life. In addition, the category of “Jewish” also includes Israeli women whose religion is defined as “other,” the great majority of whom are non-Arab Christians related to Jews.

The overall fertility rate in Israel in 2018 was 3.09 children per woman – a small drop compared to 3.11 in 2017. The average fertility rate for 2017 for all developed countries of the OECD was 1.65.

For years, Arab women had a higher fertility rate than Jewish women in Israel, though the gap has narrowed through the years.

As a new decade begins, 9.136 million people live in Israel, the bureau also reported. Jews account for 6.772 million of this population (74.1 percent), with 1.916 million Arabs (21.0 percent).

These figures include Jews living in Israel and in West Bank settlements, as well as Israeli Arabs, but not Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza. It also does not include foreign workers, who numbered about 164,000 at the end of 2018.

Israel’s population grew by 1.9 percent in 2019, 78 percent of this as a result of natural population growth, and the remaining 22 percent from immigration.

Some 34,000 immigrants arrived in 2019, while 177,000 babies were born – 74 percent to Jewish women, and 23.2 percent to Arabs, while 45,000 people died.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Already signed up? LOG IN


הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure

מליאת הכנסת 28.12.22

Comeback Kid: How Netanyahu Took Back Power After 18 Months in Exile