• 1,644,293 people with 839,000 children below the age of 18 (51 % of the population).
  • There are 251,829 children under the age of five, including 54,923 under 12 months.
  • Total area is 365 km2. It is one of the most densely populated areas around the world, with of over 4,505 people persquare kilometre2.
  • 1.2 million of the total population (two-thirds) are registered refugees, living in eight refugee camps.


  • 460,784 children attend 689 schools (basic and secondary) – 396 government schools, 245 UNRWA schools and 48 private institutions.
  • Net enrolment for basic education is 92 % with more girls enrolled (95 %) than boys (90%).
  • The enrolment rate declines to 67 % in secondary schools (75% for girls, 59% for boys who appear to be more likely to leave school for work)5.
  • Despite high rates of attendance, maintaining the quality of education remains a major challenge, partly due to a shortage of schools 85 % of schools (governmental + UNRWA) teach on a double-shift system6, forcing children to study in overcrowded classrooms. School hours are often shorter.
  • An estimated 250 new schools are needed now and an additional 275 schools by 2020, to accommodate the increase in tudent population7.
  • Double shift system and crowded classrooms make learning difficult.


  • In the first ten months of 2012, before hostilities started in November, eight children were reported killed in Gaza and 87 injured. 18 children were reported killed in Gaza and 141 injured in 2011.

Health and Nutrition9:

  • Under five mortality rate is 29.2 per 100,000 live births and infant mortality rate is 23 per 100,000 live births.
  • One quarter of children under five are anaemic, and 10 per cent of children stunted (short/age).
  • Secondary care is limited to 25 hospitals across the Gaza Strip, providing 2,047 beds, or 1.3 beds per 1,000 people, with 3,520 physicians and 5,910 nurses. Most health facilities are unable to provide safe and adequate services and need rehabilitation or upgrading.10

Water, sanitation and hygiene:

  • The coastal aquifer is the only source of freshwater. 95% of its water is unfit for human consumption.11
  • The aquifer could become unusable as early as 201612, with the damage irreversible by 202013
  • 90 million litres of untreated and partially treated wastewater are dumped into the Mediterranean each day.
  • The average water consumption for personal and domestic use in Gaza is about 80-90 litres, below the 100 litres per capita per day recommended by WHO.14


  • Unemployment stood at 29 % in 201115, out of a labour force that represents only 38 per cent of Gaza’s population of working age.
  • Women labour force participation stood at 12 %16
  • Women unemployment rate was 44 % and 57 % for people aged 20-24 in the fourth quarter of 201117.
  • More than half of the households in Gaza are either food insecure (44%) or vulnerable to food insecurity (16%) even when taking into account UN food distributions to almost 1.1 million people.18


1Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

2Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 18 April 2012.

3Ministry of Education Annual Report 2011.

4Ministry of Education Database. 2012

5Ministry of Education Database. 2012

6OCHA. 2012

7United Nations Country Team. Gaza in 2020 – Liveable place? 2012.

8UNICEF MRM database 2012

9Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, UNFPA and UNICEF. Household Survey 2012

10Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process 2012a: 19.

11Al-Yaqubi, 2006: 2.

12Palestinian Water Authority, 2011.


14UNICEF, 2011: 31.

15Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 22 February 2012.

16Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 22 February 2012.

17Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, www.pcbs.gov.ps