Israel’s Christian community grew by 2% in 2021 to 185,000 people, representing 1.9% of the state’s total population, the Central Bureau of Statistics’ annual report on the community said Sunday.
Released on Christmas day, the report noted that more than three-quarters of Israel’s Christian population were Arab, comprising nearly 7% of the country’s full Arab population.
The majority of Christians in Israel (70%) live in the country’s north, predominantly in Nazareth and Haifa. Some 13,000 reside in Jerusalem.
The report said that 52.9% of Arab Christians and 31.2% of non-Arab Christians continue on to higher studies after completing high school, which is a larger proportion than both the Arab Muslim population (31.2%) and the Jewish population (48.2%).
At university, Arab Christians were over-represented in social sciences, law, mathematics, statistics and computer sciences, but were under-represented in education, business and management sciences and paramedical sciences.
“The total fertility rate of a Christian woman [in 2021] was an average of 1.77 children per woman, [compared to] 1.8 in 2019. The number of children per Arab Christian woman was lower still, at 1.68 children per woman,” the report said.
The average size of a Christian household was 3.06 people, on par with that of a Jewish household (3.05), but lower than a Muslim household (4.46).