Israeli Birth Rates on the Rise

Even as Arab birth rates decline, Israeli women are suddenly having more children than ever before

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The Israel Bureau of Statistics has released new figures showing a massive rise in birth rates in the Jewish state.

In 2016, 181,405 babies were born in Israel. That's a 92 percent increase over the number of babies born in 1980. Of those babies, 73.9 percent were born to Jewish women, and 23.3 percent to Arab women.

Among developed nations, Israel has by far the highest birth rate. The OECD average is only 1.7 children per woman, well below the minimum required for population replacement. In Israel, women have an average of 3.11 children.

Like most developed countries, Israel experienced a sharp decline in birth rates between 1950 to 2000. In 2005, Israeli women were having an average of only 2.8 children. But the Jewish state has experienced a resurgence in its birth rate over the past decade, and now leads many surrounding Arab communities. For instance, Saudi Arabian women were having 7.3 children in 1979, but now have just 2.7 on average.

A similar trend was observed among local Arab women. While Palestinian Arab Muslims were having an average of 6 children in 1980, today that number has dropped to 3.29. That's still slightly above the Israeli Jewish average, but it's falling, while the Jewish average is rising.

Considering the current birthrates, Israel is expected to have a total population of 20 million people by the year 2065.

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