The number of Muslims residing in Israel
is currently 1,354,000, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported Thursday, ahead of the holiday of Eid al-Adha. The percentage of Muslims compared to the general population has dropped from 3.8% in 2000 to 2.5% in 2011.
The largest Muslim
population resides in Jerusalem, where they reach 281,000, comprising 20.8% of all Muslims in Israel and 35% of Jerusalem residents. The second largest is in Rahat, where 55,000 reside, followed by 51,000 in Nazareth and 48,300 in Umm al-Fahm.
More than half of the Muslim population inhabits cities and villages in the north of Israel (36.8% in the Northern District and 14.2% in the Haifa District); 21.5% live in the Jerusalem
District; and the rest live in the Central District (11.2%) and Southern District (15.2%); only 11% live in the Tel Aviv Disctrict.
Considered a "young" population, the Muslim community consists of a high percentage of children and low percentage of elderly people. Some 38% of the Muslim population are children, ages 0-14 (some 519,000) and only 3.5% are 65 and over (some 47,000).
Mass prayer near a Beersheba mosque (Photo: Sari Abu Saaluq)
Fertility rates among Muslim have dropped. In 2000, the average number of children per Muslim woman stood at 4.7. It now stands at 3.5.
Still, the average number of children per Muslim household exceeds that of other religious groups, as the average number of children is 3 for Jewish women, 2.3 for Druze women, and 2 for Christians.
The average number of children for Muslim women in Israel is also higher than in Muslim populations in Syria,
where it is 3; Egypt,
with 2.9; Turkey with 2; and Lebanon with 1.9.
Place of residence in Israel also plays a significant role in the statistics of the average number of children, with 5.5 in the south and 2.9 in Tel Aviv and the north.
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