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January 3, 2012January 3, 2012  0 comments  Christian Communities

Israel's Christian community is growing, according to data released by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 2011 there were 154,500 Christians living in Israel, representing 2% of the population of the State of Israel. Israel is the only country in the region where the Christian population is actually growing.

Highlights of the data, some of which may be surprising, include the following:


  • Christian Arabs represent approximately 80% of all Christians in Israel or about 124,000 people. The cities with the most significant Christian Arab populations include Nazareth (22,200), Haifa (13,800), Jerusalem (11,600) and Shfaram (9,300) located in the Galilee.
  • Unemployment among Christians stands at approximately 4.9% which is lower than the 6.5% unemployment rate among the Jewish population.
  • 28,400 Christian studentsm of which over 24,000 are Christian Arabs, participate in primary and post-primary education. In total this represents approximately 1.9% of all active students which is in keeping with the percentage of the population that is Christian.
  • Christian Arabs have the highest success rates inf Israel's matriculation examinations comparised to the Muslims,, Druze and in comparison to all students in the Jewish education system. In fact, in the 2010 school year, 63% of the Christian 12th grade students earned a matriculation certificate compared to 46% of the Muslims, 55% of the Druze and 58% of the students in the Jewish education system.
  • The average Christian family has 2.2. children which is similar to the rate amongst Jewish families and less than the rate of Moslem families (3.3%). 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).
  • Approximately 84% of Christian Arabs live in northern Israel, including the Galilee and Haifa districts. 9.5% live in the Jerusalem district.
  • Non-Arab Christians reside throughout the country including 39% in central part of the country, about 34% in the north, another 14% in south and 11.6% in the Jerusalem area.
  • The growth rate of the entire Christian population is 0.9% (1% growth rate among Arab Christians and .7% growth rate among other Christians) which is less than the 1.7% growth rate in the Jewish population and 2.7% in the Muslim population.
  • 758 Christian couples were married in Israel in 2009, most of them Christian Arabs. At 29.1 years old, the median age of Christian bridegrooms was approximately 1.5 year older than Jewish bridegrooms, and 3.5 years old than their Muslim counterparts.
  • In 2010, 2,511 babies were born to Christian women living in Israel
  • In 2010, there were about 60,000 households in Israel headed by a Christian with an average household size estimated at 3.5 persons. This is slightly higher than the the 3.1 size of the Jewish household and significantly smaller than the 5.0 person size of the Muslim population.
  • Residents from the former Soviet Union generally have comparatively smaller households. As a result since the influx of residents from former Soviet Union began 20 years ago, the average Christian household in Israel has decreased from 4.2 to 3.5 persons.
  • Approximately 50% of all Christian families, or about 53,000 Christian families, have at least one child up to the age 17, which is similar to the composition of Jewish families (45%).
  • 54.5% of all the Christian students are studying in universities, 11% in the Open University, 21.8% in academic colleges, and 12.7% in academic colleges of education.
  • At 2.4$ of all students in the universities, the numbers of Christian students studying is proportionately high. The relative percentage of the Christian students among all students studying in the Open University and in the academic colleges was 1.3%.
  • Among the Universities many Christian students are studying at the University of Haifa (6.4%) and the Technion (5.0%).
  • At 11.4% of all studies, law is the most popular subject studied among Christians Arab students studying toward a bachelor's degree. Other subjects studiend include social sciences (9.3%), nursing (4.8%), economics (4.5%), business administration (3.7%), computer science (3.7%), general studies in the humanities (3.5%), electrical engineering (2.7%) and English language and literature (2.5%).
  • The median age of Christian Arab students studying toward a bachelor's degree is 22.3, compared with 25.3 among all the students studying toward a bachelor's degree.

To learn more about Christian life in Israel read Travelujah's articles on Christian villages in the Galilee,or Christian Communities living in Israel.



Statistical Sources: Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics

To read more on the Christian Population in Israel, visit Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website

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Elisa L. Moed is the Founder and CEO of Travelujah-Holy Land Tours, the leading Christian travel network connecting Christians to Israel. People can learn, plan and share their Holy Land tour and travel experiences on Travelujah.




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