Is Demography Destiny?

After 75 years, Israel’s population has increased to 9,727,000 people.

Twenty-one percent of the population (some 2 million) are Arabs. Non-Arab Christians, followers of other faiths, and those with no religious affiliation account for another 535,000 people in the non-Jewish population of Israel.

73.5 % (some 7,145,000 million) of the people currently living in Israel and the settlements are Jews. Among them, 1, 28 million are “Haredim.”

In other words, 13.5% of Israel’s population are “ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Though Israel is still a secular country where secular Jews account for 36 percent of the population

 it is estimated that by 2059, the Haredi community will constitute 35% of the Jewish population in Israel.”

“It doesn’t mean that outcome is assured, however. A lot can happen in 50 years. External events could cause another mass influx of non-Haredi Jewish immigrants, like the million who arrived in the 1990s from the former Soviet Union. Haredi birth rates could decline, and there are some signs that it is already happening. The attrition rate – people choosing to leave Haredi life – could go up, and that seems to be happening as well. And the young people who choose to remain Haredi could also change their outlook, become less insular and more liberal, get a better education for themselves and, most crucially, for their children, that will allow them join the workforce and in better jobs. As they say, demography is not destiny.”[1]

[1] PFEFFER, ANSHEL: “Secular Israel Needs a Dialogue With the ultra-Orthodox, Not Misdirected Rage,” “Haaretz,” May 1923

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