Israel’s Christian population grows to 177,000 citizens

The Christian population of Israel currently stands at approximately 177,000 citizens, or 2% of the overall population, according to data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) ahead of Christmas.

Last year, the population grew by 1.5%, compared to 2.2% in 2017. Over three-quarters (77.5%) of Christians living in Israel are Arabs, the CBS said, representing 7.2% of all Israeli-Arab citizens. The majority of non-Arab Christians living in Israel are citizens who immigrated to Israel since 1990, together with Jewish family members under the Law of Return.

Some 70.6% of Arab-Christians live in northern Israel today, while 13.3% reside in the coastal city of Haifa and 9.5% live in Jerusalem. The nation’s most populous Christian cities are Nazareth (21,900 inhabitants), Haifa (16,100), Jerusalem (12,700) and the Galilee city of Shfaram (10,300).

A total of 855 Christian couples married in Israel in 2017, according to the report. The average age of marriage for Christian men was 30.1 years old, approximately one-and-a-half years older than Druze men, two-and-a-half years older than Jewish men and three-and-a-half years older than Muslim men.

Among Christian women, the average age of marriage was 26 years old – similar to the average age among Jewish women, one year older than Druze women and three-and-a-half years older than Muslim brides.

The average fertility rate among Christians in 2018 was 2.06 children per woman, below the average rate for Muslim women (3.2), Jewish women (3.17) and Druze women (2.16).

During the 2018-19 academic year, there were 6,200 Christian students – representing 2.3% of all students in Israeli higher education. A total of 94.3% of Christian students were of Arab descent.

Among all undergraduate students, the highest share of Arab students was recorded in management information systems (MIS) studies (15.3% of all students), musicology (13.7%) and transportation engineering (10.9%).


Read more: The Jerusalem Post