A recent study published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reported that 161,000 Christians reside in Israel which makes up 2% of the total population. The majority of Christians in Israel, 79.8%, are Christian Arabs while the remaining Christian population is made up of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union who came to live in Israel under the Law of Return.
Most Christian Arabs live in the northern section of Israel, with the highest concentration residing in Nazareth (22,400) and Haifa (14,600). In the center of Israel, Jerusalem has a population of approximately 11,900 Christian Arabs. Christian communities that are not of Arab descent are concentrated mostly in Haifa (3,400), Tel Aviv (3,100), and Jerusalem.
When it comes to marriage, the Christian population in Israel is in no hurry to rush to the altar. The median age of Christian brides is 24.4, which is three years older than Muslim brides, two years older than Druze brides, and a year and a half younger than Jewish brides. CBS also reported that Christian women in Israel will bear 2.2 children during their lifetime which is the lowest number amongst the numerous religious groups in Israel.
Christian Arabs have fewer children when compared to the rest of the Israeli population. The average number of children in Christian Arab families is 1.9, compared to the Jewish population (2.3) and Muslim population (2.9). The Christian Arab community as a whole is also shown to have the lowest number of children under the age of 19, with the average rate of people over the age of 65.
The study also showed that within the Arabic education system, Christian Arab students top Israel’s matriculation system and achieve a matriculation rate of 69%. Druze students matriculate at a rate of 64% and Muslim students at only 50%. Christian Arab students also are shown to have the highest rates of receiving national exam scores that are high enough to be accepted into universities. Approximately 61% of Christian Arabs are eligible for university studies, compared to 45% of Druze students and only 35% of Muslim students in the Arab community.