Growing pains: Israelis confront the problems of a booming population
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Growing pains: Israelis confront the problems of a booming population

With the number of residents expected to double by 2059, Israel's Jews and Arabs, immigrants and ultra-Orthodox all work to manage the fallout

Craig Johnson is a freelance photographer and filmmaker

Israel’s small size, arid environment and complex demographics, combined with its quickly growing population, pose significant challenges as the population is expected to double by the year 2059. Israelis across the spectrum say the stress of population growth on infrastructure and stability is already apparent, and are taking steps to address problems associated with the high birthrate.

Large families, once seen as important to preserve the the country’s Jewish majority, are now dismissed as a necessary measure by local demographic experts like Alon Tal. At the same time, Palestinians within Israel and the West Bank say that the similar population sizes and high birthrates of Arabs and Jews further complicate the peace process. Israel’s rapid urban expansion is also threatening fragile wildlife corridors and creating deplorable living conditions in minority communities.

This short documentary presents Jewish and Arab voices on the subject, and explores female empowerment and a grassroots urban-farming project as ways to address rapid growth in Israel.

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