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Majority of Israelis marry by 25, most have first child by 27

Central Bureau of Statistic data finds women marry and have children at younger age than men; marriage rates higher among religious

Illustrative: An Israeli couple photographed for their wedding at a blossoming almond tree field in Latrun on February 25, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
Illustrative: An Israeli couple photographed for their wedding at a blossoming almond tree field in Latrun on February 25, 2019. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Over 50 percent of Israelis marry before age 25, with marriage rates much higher among Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox than among secular Jews, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Among Israelis over 20 who are married, 26 percent married before age 21, 35% between 22 and 25, 23% between 26 and 30, and 14% were above 30.

Within the ultra-Orthodox community, 43% were married before 21 (30% of men and 56% of women), compared to 17% of secular Jews who were married by that age.

Marriage rates before age 21 were far higher among Arab women than Jewish ones — 59% versus 35%.

Furthermore, 41% of Arab women gave birth to their first child before age 21, as opposed to 19% of Jewish women. Those rates were far higher than among men, with only 5% and 7% of Jewish and Arab men, respectively, having their first child before 21.

Newborn babies at the EMMS Hospital in Nazareth on October 31, 2012. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The CBS data recorded a correlation between religiosity among Israelis Jews and deferring childbirth, with 36% of secular Jews having their first child at 30 or older, compared to 8% of ultra-Orthodox.

The statistics, which were part of the CBS’s 2018 Social Survey on residence, family and work balance, also included data on how many years married couples were together before divorcing; the number of Israelis aged 25-34 who live with their parents; and whether parents were happy with their life-work balance.

The CBS report also said over 91% of Israelis 65 and over have at least one grandchild, while only 19% become grandparents by age 49.

Among the ultra-Orthodox, 52% percent become grandparents before 50, compared to 11% of secular Jews.

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