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Friday, June 25, 2010

Unexpectedly, the number of 'Israeli Arabs' begins to decline

There was a piece in The Marker - Haaretz's business section - on Sunday that reported that the number of 'Israeli Arab' births has declined. Yoram E sent me that piece in English and I am posting it below.
Israeli Arabs – Modernity Up, Birth Rate Down
Adam Reuter, CEO of “Financial Immunities” (consulting 500 Israeli companies – 40% of Israel’s GDP)
“The Marker” (Ha’aretz’) business daily, June 20, 2010

A dramatic decline in Israeli Arab fertility rate has been documented during the last 15 years, while secular Jewish fertility rate has surged.

In addition, there has been a drastic increase in the rate of returning expatriate Israelis, due to the positive performance of Israel’s economy in face of the global meltdown. The number of Olim (immigrants) has grown due to the same economic reason. The conclusion is clear – in defiance of politically correct demographic dooms day projections - the proportion of Israeli Arabs, within Israel’s overall population, is expected to decline.

A thorough demographic research/audit has been conducted in recent years by the America-Israel Demographic Research Group (AIDRG), which includes experts in the areas of statistics, mathematics, computers, auditing and economics. AIDRG’s groundbreaking findings enhance optimism and could improve planning in the areas of Aliya, education, economy, human services, water allocation to the PA, diplomacy and national security. AIDRG findings pull the rug from under the feet of unwarranted Arab-Phobia, which has been nurtured by the illogical fear of Arab demography.

AIDRG findings are presented, on a daily basis, to movers and shakers in the US and (especially) in Israel, including “The Herzliya Conference”, the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, the National Security Council, Military Intelligence, Knesset Committees, editorial boards, Prime Minister Office, Cabinet Members, leading academic institutions, leading businessmen, etc.

The number of annual Israeli Arab births has stabilized, during 1995-2009, around 39,000. At the same time – and in contrast to normative demographics – the annual number of Israeli Jewish births has surged by 50% - from 80,400 to 121,000. Jewish births accounted to 69% of total births in 1995, 74% in 2006 and more than 75% in 2009.

In 2010, Israeli Arabs constitute 20% of the total population, 3.5% of whom are residents (and not Israeli citizens) from the eastern part of Jerusalem. Therefore, Israeli Arab citizens account to 16.5% of the voting population. Moreover, Israeli Druz, who serve with distinction in the Israeli military, are a distinct ethnic and religious Muslim sector – which is not Arab – amounting to 2% of the population. Thus, Israeli Arabs account to 14.5% of the voting population, 2% of which are Christian Arabs.

In contrast to politically-correct projections, since 1948, the proportion of the Arab population has not grown substantially. In fact, it is expected to decline as a result of the impact of modernity and the significant increase in secular Jewish fertility.

Israeli-born secular Jewish women, and especially descendants of the more than one million Olim (immigrants) from the former USSR, are chiefly responsible for the enhanced Jewish demography. The latter arrived to the Jewish State with a typical Russian fertility rate of 1.2 births per woman, switching to 2.3 births per woman. Furthermore, the second and third generation Israeli-born secular Jewish women have already reached 2.6 births.

From a 6 births gap between Arab and Jewish fertility rates in 1969, the gap has shrunk to 0.7 (3.5:2.8) in 2009. The fertility trend indicates convergence at 3 births per Arab and Jewish women, with a current 3.1 births (and trending upward) for Israeli-born Jewish women (including religious women).

AIDRG has employed geometric – and not linear – progression analysis, concluding that Jewish demography benefits from a powerful tailwind.

Migration – including emigrants and returnees - has played a key role in setting the Jewish-Arab demographic balance. 20,000 Olim (immigrants) arrived in 2007, 16,000 in 2008, 15,000 in 2009 and 16,000 are expected to arrive in 2010. The number of returning expatriates has increased: 11,000-12,000 annually, equaling the number of emigrants (10% of whom are Israeli Arabs). Therefore, Israel’s Jewish population benefits from a 16,000 net annual immigration.

The rate of net-immigration is expected to rise significantly due to economy-driven migration. According to a recent Australian study, Israel has fared economically – during the global economic meltdown - better than most countries. Immigration to Israel has been generated, usually, from countries with a lower GDP per capita. The last two years have improved Israel’s GDP per capita in relation to most countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Argentina, France, Britain and even the USA, which are platforms of prospective Aliya (immigration to Israel). Israel’s IRS Rule # 169 entices immigration of wealthy Jews and the return of wealthy expatriates. In addition, Israel has activated a special incentive plan to absorb former “brain drain” emigrants. Consequently, one can assume that the level of net annual immigration will be – at least – 20,000 and that the proportion of Israel’s Arab population will decrease gradually.

The substantial decline in Arab fertility – which also characterizes all Muslim countries - has been a derivative of rapid and successful modernity/Westernization process. Israeli Arabs have been impressively integrated into Israel’s infrastructures of education, medicine, health, employment, finance, trade, agriculture, arts, culture, politics and sports. Arab women study more years and minimize teen-pregnancy. They develop career mentality, experience less reproductive years and their median wedding-age has peaked. Israeli Arab life-expectancy has reached an all-time high, which has expanded the older Arab population, thus increasing death-rate and decreasing natural growth rate (birth rate minus death rate).

According to a Gallup study, Jewish and Arab fertility preferences trend toward conversion, with the Jewish preference trending upward and the Arab preference trending downward.


At 2:30 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

That's reason most people buy Haaretz - not for its politics but for its business supplement, that by general consent, is the best business paper in Israel and the entire Middle East.

And here the truth is at variance with the paper's Far Left, post-Zionist ideology. There is NO need for Israel to withdraw to the 1949 lines. A Jewish majority in Israel is guaranteed well into the future and the total Arab population will probably stabilize at around 25% once Yesha is included in the calculation. Even That percentage could be reduced quickly with incentives to immigrate to an Arab or Western country.

In short, despite the wailing of Israel's Far Left demographic Cassandras, there is no real cause for alarm about Israel's future. For Israel's politicians, its worth of to take note.

At 3:15 AM, Blogger yzernik said...

The Arab birth rate declined, not the number of Arabs. As long as the birth rate is above 2.2 or so, the population increases.

At 6:00 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Arab birthrate means the Arab population will be replaced as old Arabs die. The larger Jewish birthrate means a net increase in the Jewish population. However you add it up, the last 62 years witnessed a change in the demographic makeup of the country that is permanent. There are more Jews living in Israel now than lived in the land during the Second Temple period.


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