West Bank and Gaza

From the early 16th century through 1917, the area now known as the West Bank fell under Ottoman rule. Following World War I, the Allied powers (France, UK, Russia) allocated the area to the British Mandate of Palestine. After World War II, the UN passed a resolution to establish two states within the Mandate, and designated a territory including what is now known as the West Bank as part of the proposed Arab state. Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the area was captured by Transjordan (later renamed Jordan).... Read More
West Bank & Gaza
  • Population:4,210,000
  • Population Growth:3.0%
  • Life Expectancy:73 years
  • GDP Per Capita:$0*
  • Unemployment Rate:23.4%
  • Literacy Rate:95.3%



Population Growth Rate

annual %

Birth Rate

per 1,000 people

Death Rate

per 1,000 people

Fertility Rate

births per woman

Infant Mortality Rate

per 1,000 live births

Life Expectancy

total years

Literacy Rates

% of total population

Age Distribution

West Bank & Gaza

Age distribution chart from CIA World Factbook


  • Islam: 92%
  • Christian: 1.3%
  • Judaism: 13%
  • Other: 0.5%

Ethnic Group

  • Palestinian Arab: 83%
  • Jewish: 17%

The Palestinian economy was slowing prior to the Gaza events. Growth dropped from 6% in 2012 to about 2% in 2013 as a result of political uncertainty, a reduction in aid, the ongoing restrictions on the movement of people and goods, and the collapse of tunnel activity between Gaza and Egypt.

In 2014, the Palestinian economy has entered into a recession, facing an average growth projection of -1%: 0.5% in the West Bank and -4% in Gaza. Unemployment reached 26% in the middle of 2014, 16% of the workforce in the West Bank and a staggering 45% in Gaza. A quarter of the Palestinian population lives in poverty, with rates in Gaza double those in the West Bank.

Budget support has seen a steady decline since its peak in 2008, and the fiscal adjustments put in place to mitigate the dropping aid flows have not been commensurate. The already difficult fiscal position of the PA was exacerbated by the recent Gaza conflict. The fiscal pressures threaten the provision of public services by the Palestinian Authority. The current decline could be reversed in an environment where sustainable, private sector-led growth is fostered coupled with a commitment of ongoing financial support from the international community.

A dynamic private sector can generate the sustainable growth needed; however, restrictions put in place by the Government of Israel continue to stand in the way of potential private investment. Access to Gaza remains highly controlled, and much of Area C, which makes up 60% of the West Bank, is inaccessible to Palestinians.


total (in USD billions)

GDP Growth


GDP per Capita

total (in USD)


% of total labour force

Net Migration Rate

migrants per 1,000 people

Health Expenditure

% of GDP

West Bank & Gaza vs Global Averages


total (in USD billions)

GDP Per Capita

total (in USD)

GDP Growth Rate



% of total labour force