(JNi.media) Those learned books and articles urging “difficult” political choices by Israel based on the ever-present “ticking demographic time bomb” of a growing Arab population against a shrinking Jewish population should probably be scrapped. According to a Central Bureau of Statistics report offering selected data on the occasion of the International Child Day 2015, the difference in birth rates between the Jewish and Arab populations have declined significantly over the last decade.
Some 33% of Israel’s population are children under the age of 17. 41% of the Arab population are children, compared with about 31% of the Jewish population. The differences stem mainly from differences in fertility rates. Until the early 2000s, the average number of children a woman was expected to have during her lifetime was approximately 4.3 per Arab woman and 2.6 for a Jewish woman. These differences have declined significantly over the last decade. In 2014, the total fertility rate of an Arab woman was 3.17 children in her lifetime, compared with 3.11 for Jewish women. This marks a 26% decline in Arab births, and a 20% increase in Jewish births.
Incidentally, the fertility rate in France is 2.01 per woman. In Norway it is 1.9.
Among cities with 100,000 or more residents, B’nei B’rak is the youngest, with 47% children, and Tel Aviv the oldest — only 21% children.
At the end of 2014 there were 2.74 million Israeli children ages 0 – 17, constituting 33% of the overall population. 1.945 million of them were Jewish (71.0%), 713,000 Arabs (26.0%) and 82,000 (3.0%) were classified as “others.”
About 97% of Jewish children were born in Israel, and about 78% of them were born to fathers who were also born in Israel.
Most children in Israel live with two parents (about 92%). About 212,000 children (8%) live with only one parent. Most of the children who live in one-parent families live with their mother (93%).
Here’s a loaded statistic: percentage of TV ownership or cable or satellite TV subscription is lower in households with children than without. Also, the more children there are in the household, the lower the percentage of ownership of television, and cable or satellite subscription.