Christians in Israel – Christmas 2011

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On Christmas Eve 2011 there were 154,500 Christians living in Israel, who constitute 2% of the population of the State of Israel.

  • 80.4% of the Christians in Israel are Christian Arabs; the remainder are mainly Christians who immigrated to Israel with Jewish members of their families under the Law of Return (including their children who were born in Israel). Most of them arrived in the wave of immigration in the 1990s from the former Soviet Union.
  • The towns with the largest Christian Arab populations are Nazareth (about 22,200), Haifa (13,800), Jerusalem (11,600) and Shfaram (9,300), as of the end of 2010.
  • The median age of Christian bridegrooms in their first marriage in 2009 was 29.1, about a year and a half older than the Jewish bridegrooms, about two years older than the Druze bridegrooms and about three and a half years older then the Muslim bridegrooms.
  • The average number of children up to age 17 in Christian families with children up to that age is 2.2, similar to the Jewish families (2.3) and lower than the Muslims (3.1).
  • The percentage of participation in the civilian workforce among Christians age 15 and over was 58.0% (64.2% among the men and 52.0% among the women).
  • The percentage of unemployment among Christians age 15 and over was 4.9% (4.8% among the men and 5.1% among the women).
  • The number of Christian students in primary and post-primary education is 28,400, constituting 1.9% of all active students. The vast majority (88.3%) of the Christian students are Arabs.
  • Over the years, the Christian Arabs have had the highest rates of success in the matriculation examinations, both in comparison to the Muslims and the Druze and in comparison to all students in the Jewish education system. In the 2010 school year, 63% of the Christian 12th grade students earned a matriculation certificate compared with 46% of the Muslims, 55% of the Druze  and 58% of the students in the Jewish education system.


Christians in Israel – Christmas 2011

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Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is not-for-profit [501 (C) (3)], grass-roots community of scholars who have united to promote honest, fact-based, and civil discourse, especially in regard to Middle East issues. We believe that ethnic, national, and religious hatreds, including anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, have no place in our institutions, disciplines, and communities. We employ academic means to address these issues.

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