Israeli demography: a composite portrait of a reproductive outlier

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With a fertility rate twice higher than the OECD average, Israel is a world outlier in terms of fertility. This article puts together a composite portrait of this exceptional reproductive landscape. Within a comparative framework, it offers context-specific illustrations showing that considered vis-à-vis women in the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and Jewish FSU immigrants to the U.S., FSU immigrants to Israel had higher fertility. Inside Israel, all non-Jewish women have decreased their fertility rate in the past two decades, whereas Jewish women of all strata, but ultra orthodox women, have increased their fertility rate. Given the material challenges of child-rearing in Israel, the article concludes with some questions and preliminary answers regarding Israel’s exceptional fertility rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1081
Number of pages29
JournalIsrael affairs
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • Arab
  • Demography
  • Israel
  • Jewish
  • fertility rate
  • parenthood
  • population density
  • pro-natalism
  • reproductive discourse

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Political Science and International Relations


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