Report: Palestinians to Equal Number of Jews by End of 2017

By the end of 2020, the report estimates, Palestinians in the entire territory will number 7.13 million, compared to 6.96 million Jews.

Babies at the Dyada enrichment program for small children, November 2015.
Tomer Appelbaum

The number of Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories will equal the number of Jews by the end of 2017, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statics (PCBS.)

The number of Palestinians worldwide is currently estimated at 12.37 million, with 4.75 million living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (1.85 million and 2.9 million respectively,) 1.47 million in Israel, 5.46 million in Arab countries and some 685,000 in non-Arab countries.

The report puts the total number of Palestinians in what it calls "historical Palestine" (Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) at the end of 2015 at 6.22 million, compared to 6.34 million Jews.

But Palestinian birth rates of 4.1 in the occupied territories (during 2011-2013) and 3.2 in Israel proper (in 2014) – compared to a rate of 3.1 births among Israeli women – are expected to bring the populations to parity in 2017.

By the end of 2020, the report estimates, Palestinians in the entire territory will number 7.13 million, compared to 6.96 million Jews.

The Palestinian population within Israeli is particularly youthful, according to the report, with some 34.8% aged below the age of 15 years in 2014. Only 4.2% of the Palestinian population in Israel is aged 65 years and over.

The average household size of Palestinians in the occupied territories was 5.2 people in 2014, down from 6.1 in 2000. In Gaza, the size of the average household was 5.7 people, while in the West Bank it was 4.9.

The average size of an Israeli household is 3.73 people, according to the Israeli Bureau of Statistics.