* Bibliographical and other references have, wherever possible, been verified.
The Palestinian-Israeli peace accord of September 1993 brought limited self-rule to the residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since then, the international spotlight has focused on the myriad political and logistical problems confronting the newly established Palestinian Government. Amid these compelling issues is the more mundane but essential need to establish baseline information on the size, distribution, and demographic characteristics of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories, which include the entire area of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem. Furthermore, it becomes important for Palestinian planners to know the size of the Palestinian populations in other countries, because the 1993 accord provides "permanent" but currently non-resident population the legal right to return to the occupied territories and establish residence.
Available data on Palestinian populations in the occupied territories and elsewhere are characterized by uncertainty and uneven quality. Twenty-eight years have elapsed since the last (1967) population census in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Although the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS) publishes annual estimates of births, deaths, and migrants in the occupied territories, such estimates are generally acknowledged to be incomplete, and by definition provide little demographic detail. Outside the occupied territories, sources of data on Palestinians vary widely according to country. In addition to basic conceptual problems associated with defining and estimating Palestinian populations in other nations, the Palestinians' migratory propensity (often propelled by political and military events such as the 1991 Gulf war) militates against systematic attempts to establish population size and characteristics.
The purpose of this paper is threefold: (i) to provide time series of the Palestinian Arab population size from 1950 to 1995 in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa; (ii) to present detailed current and historical information on the size, composition, and components of population change (fertility, mortality, and migration) for the Palestinian Arab population living in the OPT; and (iii) to assess future growth prospects of the Arab population living in the OPT. As a framework for discussion, "Palestinian Arabs" (hereinafter referred to as "Palestinians") are defined as: Arabs born or living in the area of Palestine as constituted during the period of the British Mandate (1923-1948); Arabs born or living in the components of the Palestine land area subsequently designated as Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip; and Arabs who, after 14 May 1948, identified themselves or were classified as Palestinians in censuses or population counts in other countries and areas of the world.
The present study builds upon previous analyses of Palestinian population conducted by the United States Bureau of the Census (1987 and 1991) and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (1994) to arrive at the distribution of Palestinians in 16 Arab countries. Wherever possible, direct information--census, survey and registration data supplemented by vital statistics, school enrollments, and other demographic data--on Palestinian populations has been utilized. For countries lacking direct data, secondary sources and/or indirect estimation techniques have been employed. To generate comparative estimates of population size for 1995, component population projections were made at the United States Bureau of the Census for each of the 16 countries/areas in the study. National projections are based on the latest available and reliable population age/sex structure; hence the base projection year varies by country. Each national population base was projected to 1995 using trends in fertility, mortality and migration as estimated from a range of sources.1/ Figures in this paper also take into account the displacement of Palestinians during and after the 1991 Gulf war.
Population growth rate
In 1995, approximately 6.5 million Palestinians lived in 16 countries of the Middle East and North Africa (table 1). Over the entire 45-year period from 1950 to 1995, the growth rate of this total population was very high, averaging about 3.3 per cent per year. Between 1950 and 1975 the trend of the inter-period growth rate was upward, increasing from 2.6 per cent per year during 1950 to 1955 to 3.6 per cent per year during 1970 to 1975. Between 1975 and 1990 the growth rate was slightly lower, averaging about 3.3 per cent per year. For the last five-year period, the Palestinian population in these 16 countries increased at the highest rate ever, 3.7 per cent per year.
Although the Palestinian population is not a closed population in the sense of being exempt from gains or losses from intermarriage and assimilation, as well as migration to/from other countries, gains or losses due to the annual excess of births over deaths are clearly the primary determinants of population change. Thus, the upward trend of the inter-period growth rate from 1950-1955 to 1970-1975 is primarily the product of high birth rates which showed little decline from 1950 to 1975, in combination with relatively high death rates which declined very rapidly. Similarly, the constant growth rate from 1975-1980 to 1985-1990 indicates that the declines in the birth rate and the death rate were about the same. During the period 1990-1995, the increase in population growth rate resulted, in part, from an increase in the birth rate in the occupied territories.
Since 1948, political and other events have led to a wide dispersal of the Palestinian population, both within and away from the former Palestine land area (Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip).
(a) 1948-1950. At the beginning of 1948, nearly two thirds of the Arab population of Palestine lived within the land area which came to form the State of Israel. On 14 May 1948, the establishment of the State of Israel was proclaimed. The following day, armies from neighbouring Arab nations entered Palestine and began open warfare with Israel. In just the short period from May 1948 to mid-year 1950, it is estimated that over 600,000 Palestinians left the land area included in the State of Israel and migrated to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and other contiguous areas and countries (Bachi, 1977).
(b) 1950-1990. The scope of subsequent population redistributions is suggested by the figures in table 2. In 1990, 75 per cent of the Palestinian population lived in the four primary settlement areas, down from a level of 87 per cent in 1950. Conversely, 25 per cent of the 1990 Palestinian population lived outside the four primary settlement areas, compared with only 13 per cent in 1950. It is also important to note the changes in the relative distribution of the Palestinian population among the four primary settlement areas. From 1950 to 1990, an increasing percentage of the Palestinian population lived in Jordan (8 per cent in 1950, 29 per cent in 1990) and in Israel (11 per cent in 1950, 13 per cent in 1990), while a decreasing percentage lived in the West Bank (51 per cent in 1950, 21 per cent in 1990) and the Gaza Strip (16 per cent in 1950, 12 per cent in 1990).
(c) 1990-1995. As shown in table 1, the four primary concentrations of Palestinians in 1995 still are in Jordan (1,977,000), the West Bank (1,485,000), the Gaza Strip (905,000) and Israel (801,000). These now account for a
|Country or area||1950||1955||1960||1965||1970||1975||1980||1990||1995|
|Libyan Arab Jamahiriya||(z||(z)||1||2||6||18||19||28||32|
|Syrian Arab Republic||75||92||113||128||156||183||215||302||358|
|United Arab Emirates||(z)||(z)||(z)||1||24||34||47||52|
Source: United States Bureau of the Census, 1987, 1990 and 1994.
Note: (z) fewer than 500.
|Country or area||1950||1955||1960||1965||1970||1975||1980||1990||1995|
Source: Based on the data shown in table 1.
significantly higher proportion (80 per cent) of all Palestinians living in the 16 countries than was the case in 1990 (75 per cent). The 1990-1995 increase reflects the displacement of Palestinians due to the Gulf war. Some 300,000 Palestinians returned to Jordan during and after the conflict, and both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip recorded post-war net immigration--the reported net immigration for both areas combined was about 10,000 in 1991 and 12,000 in 1992.
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) recently undertook a review of available data for the occupied territories in order to establish baseline estimates of population size, fertility, and mortality. The major findings from this review are briefly described here.
Current population size, age structure and growth rate
The (ICBS) is the primary source of demographic data on the occupied territories, including data on the size of the population. It has published annual estimates of the de facto (resident) population since 1967 in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem and hereinafter referred to as the remaining West Bank) and the Gaza Strip. The estimates are based on the 1967 census population updated annually by adding registered births, subtracting estimated deaths, and factoring in registered migration.
According to the ICBS, the combined population of the remaining West Bank and the Gaza Strip was 1,769,000 in 1992. However, several independent studies suggest that the ICBS estimates may have a downward bias as high as 15 per cent (World Bank, 1994). The authors of the present paper, after review of other studies and consultation with the ICBS, concluded that there is an underestimation in the ICBS 1992 population estimate of roughly 6 per cent. A higher magnitude of underestimation, as a result of the 1967 census undercount and subsequent under-registration of births, does not appear plausible in view of the prevailing conditions of military occupation, whereby residents of the occupied territories are required to have identity cards. The 1967 census had, as one objective, the issuance of identity cards to persons counted in the census; birth certificates are used for the same purpose.
The 6 per cent underestimation figure was derived in two stages. It was first assumed that during the period 1982-1992, the birth registration system missed 3 per cent of births, partly due to missing those infants who were born at home and died soon after birth; the reported infant mortality rate based on registration data was only one half of that based on survey data or other sources (table 6 and 7), indicating that a significant proportion of births of children who die in infancy escapes registration. Therefore, we assume that the official Israeli 1992 estimate of population under age 10 years is underestimated by 3 per cent. In view of the findings of other studies, the official Israeli estimate of population aged 10 years and over was considered to have greater error--a 10 per cent underestimation--because of proportionally higher under-registration of births in the past, undercount in the 1967 census, and apparent errors in the estimation of deaths and migration. The overall 6 per cent figure cannot be validated but is plausible in view of the data collection experience in other developing countries. Accordingly, as of mid-1992, the number of residents in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) was 1.27 million and in the Gaza Strip 0.75 million.
As described in detail in the next section, we estimated that as of mid-1995, approximately 2.4 million Palestinians were living in the occupied territories. Of these, 1.5 million were in the West Bank and about 0.9 million in the Gaza Strip. The current population in the occupied territories is young by international standards. The median age is only 16 years, and 48 per cent of the population is under 15 years of age (table 3). The population in the occupied territories is growing rapidly; the estimated 1995 growth rate is nearly 6 per cent, owing in part to the assumed return of 50,000 non-resident Palestinians to the occupied territories in 1995. Even in the absence of such migration, the population in the occupied territories will grow nearly 4 per cent. The occupied territories have one of the highest rates of natural increase in the world, a consequence of a low crude death rate (around 6 deaths per 1,000 persons) and a very high birth rate of about 45 births per 1,000 persons.
Past population trends
The ICBS series of estimates is the only source for studying change in the size of the population in the occupied territories over time. Estimates of size, natural increase and migration for the remaining West Bank and the Gaza Strip during the period 1961-1993 are shown in table 4.
Emigration has been a significant factor in determining population change in the occupied territories, especially in the West Bank. As a direct result of the 1967 war, nearly one fifth of the West Bank population moved to Jordan. During 1967-1968, more than 8 per cent of the Gaza Strip population emigrated. Emigration from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip continued during most of the
Israeli occupation, although at varying annual rates. Between 1967 and 1990, the
|Indicator||Total||West Bank||Gaza Strip|
|Sex ratio (per 100 females)|
|Percentage aged 0-4||20.0||18.9||22.2|
|Percentage aged 5-14||27.6||27.3||28.1|
|Percentage aged 15-24||19.7||19.9||19.6|
|Percentage aged 15-64||48.5||49.9||46.2|
|Percentage aged 55 and over||7.2||6.0||6.4|
|Percentage aged 65 and over||3.7||3.8||3.7|
| Percentage of total women in ages 15-49|
|Median age (years)||16.0||17.6||14.9|
|Population growth rate (percentage)||6.0||5.8||6.3|
|Crude birth rate (per 1,000 population)||45.0||40.6||52.1|
|Crude death rate (per 1,000 population)||6.4||6.5||6.2|
|Natural growth rate (percentage)||3.9||3.4||4.6|
|Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 births)||36.0||37.0||34.0|
|Total fertility rate||6.5||5.6||8.1|
Source: Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
average outmigration rate for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip exceeded 1 per cent per year. More recently, however, as a consequence of the Gulf war, there was net immigration as Palestinians returned to the occupied territories (and to Jordan) from Kuwait and other Gulf countries.
Despite sustained emigration during the 1970s and 1980s, there was a substantial increase in the size of the population in the occupied territories. The remaining West Bank population increased from 596,000 in September 1967 to over a million by the end of 1992, an increase of 77 per cent. During the same period, the Gaza Strip population grew by 84 per cent, from 390,000 to 717,000.
|REMAINING WEST BANK||GAZA STRIP||TOTAL|
|Natural increase rate %||Net immigration rate %||Population (in thousands)||Natural increase rate %||Net immigration rate %||Population (in thousands)||Population growth rate %|
Source: The World Bank, 1993, p. 6.
During the Israeli occupation, birth rates in the occupied territories remained very high while death rates declined substantially; outmigration, to a certain extent, was countered by declining mortality. Consequently, the rate of natural population growth rose from 2.2 per cent in 1968 to nearly 5 per cent in the remaining West Bank and more than 5 per cent in the Gaza Strip. Since 1988, a rising birth rate has been the primary reason for the rise in the rate of natural increase.
Data on mortality are available from two official sources: the ICBS and the Israel Ministry of Health (IMOH). The ICBS estimates are based on models, while the Ministry of Health data come from a vital registration system. However, it should be noted that underregistration of deaths is common in all age groups, and underregistration is especially high for infants. Thus, IMOH estimates should be used with caution. The ICBS and IMOH estimates are shown in tables 5.
Crude death rates have declined over the period of occupation, from approximately 20 deaths per 1,000 in the late 1960s to five deaths per 1,000 in the early 1990s. With the exception of a few years, especially during the second half of the 1970s, estimated death rates were slightly lower in the Gaza Strip than in the remaining West Bank. Lower Gaza death rates may be a result of greater access to health facilities provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and other philanthropic organizations.
The level of infant mortality is a better indicator of overall health conditions in a society than is the crude death rate. Available data show a substantial decrease in infant mortality in the occupied territories. The ICBS estimated that the infant mortality rate, which was around 100 deaths per 1,000 births in the mid-1970s in the West Bank, dropped to 70 in the early 1980s in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (Sabetello, 1984). These estimated rates are much higher than those of the IMOH, which are based on the registered data shown in table 6.
A joint survey conducted recently by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Jerusalem Family Planning and Protection Association (JFPPA) provides further evidence of a continuing decline in infant mortality. The survey covered a sample of 3,745 households selected using a multistage cluster design. Women were asked to provide information on their total number of children ever born and children surviving. Estimates of infant mortality for 1988 (table 7) were produced using the Brass method (Brass and others, 1968), and the salient findings are as follows:
Sources: The World Bank, 1993, p. 6; Israel Bureau of Statistics; Israel Ministry of Health, 1994, pp. 61 and 64.
|Remaining West Bank|
Source: Israel Ministry of Health, various years.
|Rate per 1,000 births|
Source: Hassan Abu-Libdeh and others, A Survey of Infant and Child Mortality in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, UNICEF-JFPPA Survey (Jerusalem, 1992), p. 41.
(a) The infant mortality rate declined further from a level of 70 in the early 1980s to about 41 in 1988.
(b) The survey estimates are about twice as high as the rates reported by the IMOH, indicating that a substantial proportion of infant deaths is not registered.
(c) The West Bank has a higher infant mortality rate than the Gaza Strip. This areal difference may be linked to the proportion of population living in refugee camps. The Gaza Strip has a larger proportion of its population in refugee camps which, according to the survey, have lower infant mortality rates than do areas outside the camps.
(d) Female infant mortality is slightly higher than male infant mortality. This gender differential is dissimilar to the commonly observed pattern of higher male infant mortality, and may indicate a cultural preference for male children and a relative neglect of female infants.
Fertility levels in the occupied territories are extremely high compared to most other countries. The total fertility rate for 1992, produced by combining official data (table 8) with data from the 1992 UNICEF-JFPPA survey (Adu-Libdeh, 1992), was 8.4 children per woman for the Gaza Strip and 5.9 children per woman for the West Bank. Available data indicate that the total fertility rate in the occupied territories has not been declining, and in fact there is evidence that fertility may have risen in recent years.
The only source that provides consistent data on fertility trends in the occupied territories is the ICBS, whose estimates are based on vital registration figures for the years after 1967 (table 8). Even though these data may have minor deficiencies, they can be considered reasonably indicative of fertility levels because birth registration in the occupied territories is nearly complete. The estimates show that the total fertility level of the population in the occupied territories remained very high during the Israeli occupation. The total fertility rate (TFR) was slightly lower during the first few years of occupation, perhaps due to relatively higher underregistration of births and a deficit of males in their teens and twenties owing to emigration. Fertility rose in the early 1970s and then declined, although slowly and somewhat erratically, from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. While information on the total fertility rate is not available for the period 1985-1991, data on the crude birth rate suggest that this decline was arrested; in fact, fertility rose during the intifadah (post-1987) years. Although there are indications that fertility began to decline again after 1991, the 1992 Gaza Strip TFR of 8 children per woman is equal to the highest rate ever recorded during the Israeli occupation (table 8 and 9). An increase in proportions married at younger ages during the intifadah years was a primary reason for this rise in fertility. In general, the Gaza Strip's high TFR level may be related to widespread access to health services, made possible in large part by the operations of international organizations within refugee camps.
To date, fertility in the occupied territories has not responded to conditions that usually are considered conducive to lowering it. Mortality has reached a fairly low level, and the level of education is relatively high. Yet, for the majority of the population in the occupied territories, fertility remains high. Cultural and political factors apparently have been more important in determining the level of fertility than have modernization characteristics. If peace comes to the area, a declining trend in fertility could emerge as a consequence of low mortality and higher levels of education in the occupied territories.
Source: Israel Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1987, p. 34; and
Statistical Abstract of Israel, 1994.
|Age||TOTAL||WEST BANK||GAZA STRIP|
Source: Palestinian Bureau of Statistics.
To assess future population prospects in the occupied territories, are made using the cohort component method. In this method, assumptions are made concerning the future course of each of the population components -fertility, mortality and migration- and a projection is prepared by following each cohort of people throughout its lifetime by subjecting it to the assumed rates of mortality, fertility and migration. The base year for the occupied Palestinian territories projections is 1992. And the base year estimates of demographic characteristics and assumptions concerning their future course of change used in the projections are described below. The calculations are performed by using the U.S. Bureau of the census RUP population projection programme.
Base year population
For 1992, information on the age structure for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank was available from two sources: ICBS (1994) and the UNICEF-JFPPA (1992) survey. The age structure for each area for the current projections is a hybrid of the structures from the two sources.
|Total occupied territories||West Bank||Gaza Strip|
|Age||Both sexes||Male||Female||Both sexes||Male||Female||Both sexes||Male||Female|
Source: Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, 1994; unpublished data for 1992, and Hassan Abu-Libdeh, 1994 unpublished tabulations from the 1992 UNICEF survey.
Notes: Population estimated by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics by using the ICBS age structure, 1992; UNICEF survey age structure, and total estimated size as shown in table 1.
There are two problems in using the ICBS age structure: (a) the age classification is not detailed enough to produce projections by five-year age groups; and (b) information on the age structure of migrants used for annually updating the age structure is very crude. Thus, the official age structure may not be a realistic representation of the true structure. The second problem, however, has a minimal effect on the population under the age of 10 years.
The age structure from the 1992 UNICEF-JFPPA survey appears to suffer from underreporting of children, a common problem with demographic surveys in developing countries. However, the age structure for ages 10 and over from the survey looked plausible and is accepted for the current projections after minor smoothing using the Arriaga technique (Arriaga, 1993). This smoothed UNICEF-JFPPA age structure was used to distribute the ICBS population aged 10 and over, adjusted for underestimation, into five-year age groups. For ages under 10, the ICBS population adjusted for 3 per cent underestimation was accepted. The age structures created in this way for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are shown in table 10.
Abdeen and Abu-Libdeh (1993), for their projections, evaluated existing information on infant mortality for the occupied territories and made assumptions concerning the future course of the infant mortality rate (IMR). They assumed that the IMR in the Gaza Strip (38 for males and 44 for females) and in the West Bank (42 for males and 48 for females) will be reduced by 50 per cent over the period 1987-2012. For the current projections, we accept this assumption and convert the 1987-1992 IMRs and 2007-2012 IMRs into life expectancy at birth using the Coale-Demeny West model life tables. A logistic curve is fit between 1987-1992 and 2007-2012 values to interpolate life expectancies at birth for the intermediate years. The low and high asymptotes used for the curve are 25 and 81 for males and 25 and 87 for females. The projected values of life expectancy at birth are given in table 11.
Like the age structure, fertility estimates for the occupied territories are available from the ICBS and from the UNICEF-JFPPA survey (Abu-Libdeh, 1993). According to the ICBS, the 1992 total fertility rates for the Gaza Strip and the remaining West Bank are 8.0 and 6.4, respectively. However, the total fertility rate (TFR) is dependent on the age pattern of fertility. The ICBS age pattern of fertility is derived using reported births by age of mother and numbers of women by age from the official Israeli population age structure which, as described above, is not accepted for the current projections. A revised age fertility pattern was derived using the 1992 official reported births,2/ by age of mother, adjusted for 3 per cent underregistration, and the 1992 population age distribution prepared for the current projections. In addition, for the West Bank, appropriate allowance was made for births in East Jerusalem for which information on births by age of mother are not available. Data on age-specific fertility rates of non-Jews in Israel was used to estimate births by age of mothers in East Jerusalem. It is important to note that the Palestinians in East Jerusalem have substantially lower fertility rates than Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and remaining West Bank.
|West Bank||Gaza Strip|
|Year||Both sexes||Male||Female||Both sexes||Male||Female|
Source: Palestinian Bureau of Statistics.
The age-specific fertility rates and TFRs for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are shown in table 13. Overall, 1992 TFR for the total occupied territories
Source: Palestinian Bureau of Statistics.
is estimated at 6.8 children per woman. The TFR in Gaza of 8.4 is substantially higher than the TFR of 5.9 for the West Bank.3/
The three alternative projection series listed below were prepared based on different assumptions of future fertility. Mortality and migration were not varied.
1. Low fertility series. This series assumes that the TFR will decline by 50 per cent between 1992 and 2012 in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
2. Medium fertility series. This series assumes a decline of 33 per cent between 1992 and 2012.
3. High fertility series. This series assumes that the TFR will remain constant at the 1992 level.
For each series, the TFR values for intermediate years are estimated by fitting a logistic curve to the 1992 TFR and the assumed TFR for 2012. The low and high asymptotes used for fitting the curve are 2 and 9 children per woman. The TFRs used in the program for each series are reproduced in table 11.
Table 13. Projected levels of immigration for the occupied territories, 1992 to 1999
|Year||TOTAL||WEST BANK||GAZA STRIP|
Source: Palestinian Bureau of Statistics.
Prior to 1990, both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank had net emigration. But since 1990, the number of people who returned to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has been greater than the number who left. Beginning in 1994, owing to the autonomy agreement, a large number of Palestinians were expected to return to the occupied territories. The Palestinian development plan envisages 50,000 returnees each year for five years beginning in 1994. In addition, in 1994, 8,000 police officers were hired from outside the occupied territories. Since their families are expected to join them, 75,000 returnees are assumed for 1994. The projected numbers of returnees in 1995 and thereafter were accordingly reduced to retain the assumption of a total of 250,000 returnees during the period 1994-1999. Forty per cent of the total returnees were allocated to the Gaza Strip and sixty per cent to the West Bank. Table A.6 shows the number of net migrants assumed for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Since families are expected to dominate the migration pattern for the next few years, a "normal" age-sex distribution was assumed for the migrants. The 1992 age-sex structure of the Jordanian population as estimated by the United States Bureau of the Census was accepted for distribution of the migrants by age and sex. The age-sex structure is assumed constant through 1998.
The results of these projections are summarized in table 8. Between 1995 and 2012, a duration of only 17 years, the OPT population will nearly double from 2.4 million to 4.7 million. Even in the no-post-1994 migration scenario, the OPT will have 2 million more people to feed, clothe and house in 2012 than in 1995.
Source: United States Bureau of Census, International Programmes Center, International Data Base.
Notes: West Bank includes East Jerusalem.
Such a large increase in population size represents immense challenges for government planners to provide necessary services and infrastructure which currently are inadequate and need substantial upgrading (World Bank, 1994).
Another challenge that the OPT will face is to provide jobs to the growing labor force. The population of labor force age (15 to 64 years) will grow faster than the total population, and will more than double from the current 1.2 million to nearly 2.5 million by 2012. In 1991, labor force participation rates were only 39 percent in the West Bank and 34 percent in the Gaza Strip. Even assuming no change in these low rates, nearly 400,000 new jobs will need to be created by 2012 to keep the 1992 number of unemployed or underemployed from rising.
Since the 1967 war, while the labor force in the OPT nearly doubled, domestic employment opportunities increased by less than 25 percent. About 43 percent of the entire OPT labor force, 80,000 persons, were unemployed or underemployed in 1992. Until now, the OPT has relied heavily upon outside employment. The large labor surplus has been absorbed in mostly unskilled jobs in Israel. Many more Palestinians went to work in the Gulf states. According to the World Bank (1994), the future prospects for these labor markets are not promising. Expansion of domestic employment opportunities will be the biggest challenge for Palestinian authorities.
One positive change is the fall in the dependency ratio (persons aged 0-14 and 65+ per 100 persons of working age), which eases the potential social burden of supporting economically-dependent groups. The projected decline in this crude indicator--from 106 in 1995 to 87 in 2012--is the consequence of assumed decline in fertility in the OPT.
1/ Assumptions and methods used to estimate and project each of the Palestinian population are described in United States Bureau of the Census (1991). This source also includes a bibliography of major references used in the preparation of the projections.
2/ The distribution of the ICBS births by age of mother was not available, but was obtained by multiplying the ICBS age-specific fertility rates by the corresponding ICBS estimates of numbers of women, by age. The ICBS rates for ages 20 to 44 were available by 10-year age groups of women. These 10-year age group rates were converted into 5-year age groups by using information on fertility rates from the UNICEF survey, for which rates by both 5-year age groups and 10-year age groups were available. The 5-year age group rates for the ICBS were calculated by assuming that within each 10-year age group, the ratio of a 5-year rate to the 10-year rate as calculated from the UNICEF-JFPPA survey was valid for the ICBS rates.
3/ The 1992 UNICEF-JFPPA (Abu-Libdeh, 1992) survey estimate of TFR is higher (6.7 children per woman) than the estimate accepted for the current projections computed using reported births adjusted for assumed underregistration of 3 per cent. The UNICEF estimate is currently being evaluated for biases arising from the sampling representation of women from different localities. If the estimate is found to be accurate, than one would conclude that underregistration of births is much more serious than assumed in this study.
Abdeen, Ziad, and Hassan Abu-Libdeh. 1993. Palestinian Population Handbook, Part I, The West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Planning and Research Center, Jerusalem.
Abu-Libdeh, Hassan and others. 1992. A Survey of Infant and Child Mortality inthe West Bank and the Gaza Strip. UNICEF-JFPPA Survey. Jerusalem.
Arriaga, Eduardo E. and Associates. 1993. Population Analysis with Microcomputers. Volume I. United States Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C.
Bachi, Roberto. 1977. The Population of Israel. Committee for International Coordination of National Research in Demography, Jerusalem.
Brass, William and others. 1968. The Demography of Tropical Africa. Princeton University Press.
Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (ICBS). Various years. Statistical Abstract of Israel. Jerusalem.
Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. 1994. Demography of the PalestinianPopulation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Jerusalem.
Sabetello, Eitan F. 1984. The Population of Administered Territories: SomeDemographic Trends and Implications." West Bank Data Project Working Paper, Jerusalem.
United States Bureau of the Census. 1987. Palestinian Arab Population: 1950 to 1984. Michael K. Roof and Kevin G. Kinsella, unpublished.
----- 1991. Palestinian projections for 16 countries/areas of the world, 1990 to 2010. Kevin G. Kinsella, unpublished.
----- 1994. Unpublished tables.
The World Bank. 1994. Developing the Occupied Territories, An Investment in Peace. Washington, D.C.