Population Statistics


I. Background
II. Israel / Palestine: Arab / Jewish Population (1914-2005) A. Graph B. Chart
III. Jerusalem: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Population (1910-2005) A. Graph B. Chart
IV. Palestine: Arab / Jewish Population (1914-1946) A. Graph B. Chart
V. Israel: Arab / Jewish Population (1949 - 2006) A. Graph B. Chart
VI. West Bank & Gaza Strip: Arab Population (1950 - 2005) A. Graph B. Chart
VII. By Area: Arab / Jewish Population (2006) A. Graph B. Chart
VIII. Population Projections: Israel / Palestine Population (2020-2050) A. Graph B. Chart

I. Background:

The demographic composition of the Israel-Palestine region has played a major role in the events, policies and debates that have shaped the area. Early on, population figures were used to establish or deny the legitimacy of particular claims. As Ami Isseroff, Director of the MidEastWeb, notes "the Zionist claim that Palestine was 'a land without a people' is challenged by pro Palestinian historians who cite census figures showing a substantial Palestinian-Arab population by 1914. Zionists note that most of this increase seems to have occurred after 1880, when Jews began developing Palestine."

In addition to these claims, population statistics were used to determine the partition plans of 1937 and 1947, as well as British immigration policy in 1939. After 1967, demographics influenced settlement policy (especially in East Jerusalem), and during the 1990s it determined the areas to be turned over to the Palestinian Authority. Other relevant considerations include the demographic impact of war (especially the wars of 1948 and 1967) and of Palestinian refugee Right of Return upon the state of Israel. Demographics will likely play a role in any future peace talks and is currently a part of Sharon's motivation to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

History: The areas known today as Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, were in 1922 designated under the British Mandate as a single territorial unit called Palestine.

Prior to British rule, the area existed as several districts within the Ottoman Empire. (Only the inhabitants from the Ottoman districts that would become British Mandate Palestine were included in the population figures presented below).

In 1948, the British withdrew, Israel declared statehood, and the first Arab-Israeli war broke out. The armistice lines established between Israel and Jordan, and Israel and Egypt formed the West Bank and Gaza Strip respectively. These territorial divisions remained until the 1967 War when Israel came to control both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as well as East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. Since 1967, population figures for Israel have included the residents of East Jerusalem as well as the Jewish settlers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (until their removal in Aug. 2005). The population of the Golan Heights was included in the Israeli figures starting in 1982. See our complete history of these developments as told through maps.

Demographic Divisions: We have divided the population into two main ethnic groups: Jews and Arabs. For Jerusalem however, we used religious rather than ethnic designations because of the religious significance of the city to Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

Demographic Display: The demographic information below is displayed in graphs and charts. Each graph derives from the data in its corresponding chart. The accompanying maps designate the territory of focus.

Accuracy: The population statistics below are approximations. Older data is generally seen as less accurate than more modern population figures.

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II. Israel / Palestine: Arab / Jewish Population (1914-2005)

A. Graph

Arab jewish population in Israel Palestine 1914 to 2005

Historic Divisions of Israel / Palestine

Historic division of Israel Palestine Ottoman districts 1517 to 1917
Historic division of Israel Palestine british mandate 1922 to 1948 Historic division of israel west bank gaza strip 1948 1967 Historic division of Israel West bank Gaza strip Golan heights 1967 to present




II. Israel / Palestine: Arab / Jewish Population (1914-2005)

B. Chart

Year
Jews
Arabs
Total
% of Jews to Total

1914 60,000 731,000 791,000 7.585%

1922 83,790 668,258 752,048 11.141%

1931 174,606 858,708 1,033,314 16.897%

1941 474,102 1,111,398 1,585,500 29.902%

1950 1,203,000 1,172,100 2,375,100 50.650%

1960 1,911,300 1,340,100 3,251,400 58.783%

1970 * 2,582,000 1,045,000 3,627,000 71.188%

1980 3,282,700 2,100,000 5,382,700 60.986%

1995 4,495,100 3,506,900 8,002,000 56.173%

2005 5,275,700 5,139,100 10,414,800 50.656%



Sources & Notes:
Sources by Year:

1914
Justin McCarthy The Population of Palestine, 1990
1922 & 1931
British Census (Census conducted by the British Mandate Government.)
1941
Esco Foundation Palestine: A Study of Jewish, Arab, and British Policies Vol. 1, p.46, Yale University Press, 1947

1950-2005

Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics "Statistical Abstract of Israel 2007: Population, by Religion," ICBS website accessed on May 6, 2010

Notes:

*

Decrease in the Arab population between 1960 and 1970 due to Arab refugees from the 1967 War.

 

III. Jerusalem: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Population (1910-2005)

A. Graph

Jerusalem jewish muslim christian population 1910 to 2005

Jerusalem

 

III. Jerusalem: Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Population (1910-2005)

B. Chart

Year
Jews
Muslims
Christians
Total
% of Jews to Total

1910 45,000 12,000 12,900 69,900 64.377%

1922 34,000 13,500 14,600 62,500 54.4%

1931 51,000 19,900 19,300 90,500 56.353%

1946 99,300 33,700 31,400 164,400 60.401%

1967 196,800 58,100 12,900 267,800 73.487%

1972 261,100 74,400 11,800 347,300 75.179%

1983 346,700 112,100 13,900 472,700 73.345%

1995 486,600 171,700 13,900 672,200 72.389%

2000 439,600 196,900 14,200 657,500 66.859%

2005 582,700 240,900 15,700 839,300 69.427%

 

Sources & Notes:
Sources by Year:

1910
Bernard WassersteinDivided Jerusalem, p.46, Yale Nota Bene, 2002
1922 & 1931
British Census (Census conducted by the British Mandate Government.)
1946 & 1967
Bernard WassersteinDivided Jerusalem, p.46, Yale Nota Bene, 2002
"Account should be taken of the changes in the municipal boundary of Jerusalem over the past century. Apparent discrepancies in the 'total' column reflect the presence of small numbers of persons whose religion was classified as 'other' or 'unknown.'"
1972 - 2005
Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics "Statistical Abstract of Israel 2007: Population by district, sub-district and religion," ICBS website accessed on Sep. 20, 2007

 

IV. Palestine: Arab / Jewish Population (1914 - 1946)

A. Graph

Arab jewish population in Israel Palestine 1914 to 1946


Palestine

 

IV. Palestine: Arab / Jewish Population (1914 - 1946)

B. Chart

Year
Jews
Arabs
Total
% of Jews to Total

1914 60,000 731,000 791,000 7.585%

1918* 59,000 688,000 747,000 7.898%

1922 83,790 668,258 752,048 11.141%

1931 174,606 858,708 1,033,314 16.897%

1941 474,102 1,111,398 1,585,500 29.902%

1944 554,000 1,211,000 1,765,000 31.388%

1946 608,225 1,237,334 1,845,559 32.956%

Sources & Notes:
Sources by Year:

1914 - 1918
Justin McCarthy The Population of Palestine, 1990
1922 & 1931
British Census (Census conducted by the British Mandate Government.)
1941
Esco Foundation Palestine: A Study of Jewish, Arab, and British Policies Vol. 1, p.46, Yale University Press, 1947
1944
Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry Chapter IV: Population, April 20, 1946
1946
United Nations General Assembly, A/364, "UNSCOP Report to the General Assembly," September 3, 1947
Notes:

*
Decrease in population due to WWI and famine.

 

V. Israel: Arab / Jewish Population (1949 - 2006)

A. Graph

Arab jewish population in Israel Palestine 1949 to 2006

Golan Heights

 

V. Israel: Arab / Jewish Population (1949 - 2006)

B. Chart

Year
Jews
Arabs
Total
% of Jews to Total

1949 1,013,900 159,100 1,173,000 86.436%

1967* 2,383,600 392,700 2,776,300 85.855%

1973 2,845,000 493,200 3,338,200 85.225%

1983** 3,412,500 706,100 4,118,600 82.855%

1990 3,946,700 875,000 4,821,700 81.853%

1995*** 4,522,300 1,004,900 5,527,200 81.819%

2000**** 4,955,400 1,188,700 6,144,100 80.652%

2006**** 5,393,400 1,413,300 6,806,700 79.237%

Sources & Notes:
Sources by Year:

1949 - 2006
Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics "Statistical Abstract of Israel, No. 55," 2004, and "Statistical Abstract of Israel 2007: Population by district, sub-district and religion," ICBS website accessed on Sep. 20, 2007



Notes:

*
Starting in 1967, population figures include residents of East Jerusalem and the Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
**
Starting in 1982, population figures include residents of the Golan Heights.
***
Starting in 1995, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) defined "Arabs" as a group including Druze, Arab Christians, and Muslims.
****
Since the year 2000 the ICBS also included 2,700 Lebanese not classified by religion.

 

 

VI. West Bank & Gaza Strip: Arab Population (1948-2005)

A. Graph

West bank and gaza strip arab population 1948 to 2005
West bank and Gaza

 

VI. West Bank & Gaza Strip: Arab Population (1948-2005)

B. Chart

Year
West Bank
Gaza Strip

1948 462,100 82,500

1950* 765,000 240,000

1960 799,000 302,000

1970** 677,000 368,000

1980 964,000 497,000

1985 1,044,000 532,288

1990 1,254,506 642,814

1995 1,626,689 875,231

2000 2,020,298 1,132,063

2005 2,385,615 1,376,289

Sources & Notes:
Sources by Year:

1948
Wael R. Ennab "Population and Demographic Developments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip unitl 1990," Study prepared for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), 28 June 1994
1950 - 1980
Justin McCarthy "Palestine's Population During the Ottoman and the British Mandate Periods," 2001
1985 - 2005
U.S. Census Bureau "International Data Base (IDB), Country Summary: West Bank and Gaza Strip," accessed online Sep. 19, 2007
Notes:

*
Increase in the Arab population due to Palestinian Refugees from the territory of the new state of Israel to the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the first Arab-Israeli War (1948-1949)
**
Decrease in the Arab population between 1960 and 1970 due to Arab refugees from the 1967 War.

 

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VII. By Area: Arab / Jewish Population (2006)

A. Graphs


Graph byarea arab jewish population 2006 Israel
Israel 2006

Graph by area arab jewish population 2006 West bank
West bank 2006


Graph by area arab jewish population 2006 gaza strip
Gaza 2006


Graph by area arab jewish population 2006 Israel West Bank Golan Heights
Israel, West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights 2006


VII. By Area: Arab / Jewish Population (2006)

B. Chart



Israel West Bank Gaza Strip Total

Jews 5,137,8001 255,6001 01 5,393,4001

Arabs 1,439,7001 2,460,4922 1,428,7572 5,328,949

 


Sources & Notes:

1 Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics "Statistical Abstract of Israel 2007: Population by district, sub-district and religion," ICBS website accessed on Sep. 20, 2007
Starting in 1995, the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) defined "Arabs" as a group including, Druze, Arab Christians, and Muslims. Since the year 2000 the CBS also included 2,700 Lebanese not classified by religion.
2 U.S. Census Bureau "International Data Base (IDB), Country Summary: West Bank and Gaza Strip," accessed online Sep. 19, 2007


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VIII. Population Projections: Israel / Palestine (2020-2050)
A. Graphs





1. ISRAEL - ARABS / JEWS (2020 PROJECTION)

2. ISRAEL - ARABS / JEWS (2050 PROJECTION)




Population projections Israel arab jews 2020 projection Population projections Israel arab jews 2050 projection













Compare to 1949-2006 statistics, see V.A. above



3. ISRAEL, WEST BANK, & GAZA (2025 PROJECTION)

4. ISRAEL, WEST BANK, & GAZA (2050 PROJECTION)






Population projections Israel West Bank Gaza 2025 projection Population projections Israel West Bank Gaza 2050 projection













Compare to 2006 statistics, see VII.A. above





VIII. Population Projections: Israel / Palestine (2020-2050)
B. Charts







1. ISRAEL - ARABS / JEWS (2020 & 2050 PROJECTIONS)




Jews Arabs


2020 6,697,000 1,976,000



2050 8,780,000 3,121,000




 

2. ISRAEL, WEST BANK, & GAZA (2025 & 2050 PROJECTIONS)





Israel West Bank & Gaza



2025 8.8 million 6.2 million


2050 11.2 million 9.3 million



 



 

Sources & Notes:

Sources:

*Graphs 1 & 2
Chart 1

Sergio DellaPergola, PhD, "Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects, Policy Implications," paper presented at the XXIV International Union for the Scientific Study of Population General Population Conference, Aug. 2001

*Graphs 3 & 4
Chart 2

Evgenia Bystrov, MA, and Arnon Soffer, PhD, "Israel: Demography and Density 2007-2020," Reuven Chaikin Chair in Geostrategy University of Haifa, www.haifa.ac.il, May 2008

Notes:


*

The Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics in its "Statistical Abstract of Israel 2009" available on the ICBS website (accessed Dec. 2, 2009) projected that Israel's population in 2025 would consist of 6,506,900 (70%) Jews, 2,320,000 (25%) Arabs, and 434,800 (5%) others.

*

Bennett Zimmerman, Roberta Seid, and Michael Wise in their "Forecast for Israel and West Bank 2025" presented at the 6th Herzliya Conference in Herzliya, Israel on Jan. 23, 2006 projected that Israel would have 7.51 million Jews and 2.2 million Arabs in 2025.

*

Figures from the two sources above were not represented graphically because they are relatively similar to the data already presented in section VIII.A. above and because they projected to 2025 only vs. 2020 and 2050.