Jerusalem, 5 August 1998

ISRAELI DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS IN 1997

(Communicated by the Central Bureau of Statistics Spokesman)

NEW DATA ON FAMILIES IN ISRAEL

The number of families in Israel at the end of 1997 stood at 1,359,000, of which 1,142,000 were Jewish, 155,000 Muslim and the remainder Christian, Druze or of other religious affiliation. 67% of families, or 904,000, were defined as "traditional", i.e. a couple with unmarried children. 83% of Muslim families are traditional, compared to 64% of Jewish ones. 250,000 families are couples without children, and 52% are couples aged 65 or older. 139,000 families have children aged 25 or older living at home, including families or single parents with children. There were a total of 81,000 single parent households with at least one child, 89% headed by women, 60% were divorced and 6.5% had not been married.

It must be noted that these figures for families and households do not include kibbutzim, institutions, student dormitories and Bedouin living in unrecognized settlements.

INTERNAL MIGRATION

544,000 people registered a change of address with the Interior Ministry in 1996. The most favored district to move to was the Central District

(the coastal strip). The median age for movers was 27, and 30% were new immigrants who arrived after 1990.

FOREIGN WORKERS IN ISRAEL

In 1997, Israel issued a total of 62,900 visas for foreign workers, a 31% drop from 90,600 visas in 1996, the peak year for such visas. Visas were issued to citizens of 128 countries. Leading countries were Romania, Thailand, Turkey, Lebanon and CIS states (mainly Ukraine and Moldova). 70% of the visas went to men aged between 25-44. An significant exception was the Philippines, 83% of visas were for women.

There were also approximately 74,400 people from less developed countries, at the end of 1996, a rise of 28,00 from the previous year. The largest rise in illegal residents came from the CIS states, followed by Jordan, Colombia, South Africa and Nigeria.

– Central Bureau of Statistics website – http://www.cbs.gov.il