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Palestinian population hits 14.3m globally

Overall, 17 per cent of Palestinians have a bachelor’s or higher degree (16 per cent for males, 19 per cent for females).

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has reported that the number of Palestinians around the world is now estimated to be 14.3 million, of whom 5.35m are in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The gender balance in the occupied Palestinian territories is 2.72m males and 2.63m females.

In a report issued on Thursday for World Population Day, the Palestinian census indicated that the population is very young, with individuals in the age group 0-14 years making up around 38 per cent of the total population in occupied Palestine. The figure is 36 per cent in the West Bank and 41 per cent in the Gaza Strip. The percentage of individuals aged 65 years and over fell to about three per cent overall, but by four per cent in the West Bank and three per cent in the Gaza Strip.

The census showed a decrease in the total fertility rate during the period 2017 to 2019, down to 3.8 births per woman, compared to 4.6 births during the period between 1999 and 2003. This rate was 3.8 births in the West Bank, and 3.9 in the Gaza Strip. The fertility rate in urban areas was 3.8 per woman, compared with 4.4 in rural areas and 3.5 in the Palestinian refugee camps.

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The labour force survey for the year 2021 indicates that 11 per cent of households are headed by women in occupied Palestine: 12 per cent in the West Bank and 10 per cent in Gaza. Moreover, estimates based on the same survey and the General Census of Population, Housing and Establishments in 2017, indicate a decrease in the average family size in Palestine compared with 2007. The figure fell from 5.8 individuals in 2007 to five in 2021. In the West Bank average family size decreased to 4.7 members in 2021 from 5.5 in 2007, and in the Gaza Strip it fell from 6.5 in 2007 to 5.6 last year.

The labour force survey for 2021 also revealed that the illiteracy rate among individuals aged 15 and over in Palestine is 2.3 per cent. The rate varies greatly between males and females, at 1.2 per cent for males, and 3.5 per cent for females.

Overall, 17 per cent of Palestinians have a bachelor's or higher degree (16 per cent for males, 19 per cent for females). However, seven per cent have not had any education at all (six per cent of males and nine per cent of females).

Importantly, the overall unemployment rate is 26 per cent in occupied Palestine, with 16 per cent in the West Bank but a staggering 47 per cent in the Gaza Strip. Among females, the rate is 43 per cent; for males it is 22 per cent.

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