Photo Credit: Abir Sultan/FLASH90
Orthodox women do their national service at the maternity ward off a Jerusalem hospital, October 28, 2010.

For the first time since the establishment of the Jewish State, the fertility rate of Arab women has fallen below that of Jewish women. At the establishment of the state, in 1948, a Muslim woman gave birth on average to 9 children, and today she gives birth to fewer than 3, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Israel’s total fertility rate (average number of children per woman) in 2020 was 2.90. This figure is low compared to 3.01 in 2019 and 3.09 in 2018, but still far higher than all the OECD countries whose average in 2019 was 1.61 children per woman.


The total fertility rate of Jewish women and others in Israel is estimated at 2.88 children per woman, compared to Arab women at 2.82.

The highest total fertility rate was recorded among Israeli Jewish women – 3.00, while the lowest rate was recorded among Israeli women without religious affiliation (code for women from the former USSR) – 1.35. In 2020, the fertility rate of Muslim women went for the first time below 3 children per woman and reached 2.99.

The highest average daily number of newborns in 2020 was recorded in September – 514 newborns per day, while the lowest number was in May – 463 daily newborns.

The average mother’s age at first birth was 27.7. Muslim women gave birth to their first child at the youngest age – 24.5, while women without a religious affiliation gave birth at the oldest average age – 30.5.

In 2020, the highest fertility rate was estimated to be in Modi’in Illit – 7.16 children on average per woman. The lowest rate was recorded in Kabul, a Muslim village outside Akko – 1.56 children per woman.

In 2020, 7.8% of all newborns of Jewish women were born out of wedlock, a significantly lower percentage compared to most OECD countries where the phenomenon is very common.

In the years 2018-20, the fertility rate among Haredi women was 6.64 children per woman, among religious women 3.92, and among secular women 1.96.

The year 2018 saw the continued decline of the proportion of newborns of multiple births. The extent of multiple births was estimated at 4.1% (7,588 newborns) of all newborns that year. In 2015 there were 7,937 multiple births.


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