April 18, 2024

The Young Adults in Israel Statistical Abstract

In December 2023, the Young Adults in Israel Statistical Abstract was published by Myers JDC Brookdale and the Ministry of the Negev, Galilee, and National Resilience.

The the Young Adults in Israel Statistical Abstract serves as a resource compiling diverse data on demographic, educational, employment, health, welfare, legal, and social aspects of young adults’ lives. Chapters within the abstract address specific domains, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of their current situation and long-term trends. The data upon which the abstract relies predominantly spans from 2000 to 2021.

IATF summary of the Statistical Abstract highlights major data points related to Arab youth in Israel presented in the English abstract, and full study in Hebrew. The Arab population encompasses Muslims, Christians, and Druze, with potential breakdowns by residents of East Jerusalem, Bedouins in the Negev, and religious affiliation.

Charts and graphs are courtesy of Myers JDC Brookdale.


Who is a young adult? This abstract adopts the age range 18-34, which effectively includes individuals up to 35.

Demographic Characteristics

  • Young adults account for 23.6% of the total population in Israel, while Arabs constitute 26.3% of the Israeli youth, totaling 587,800 individuals. Among them, there’s a nearly equal split between males and females. The majority of Arab young adults fall within the 18-24 age range, accounting for almost half of this group.
  • Muslim young adults comprise the largest subgroup (22.7%), with a notable increase in their representation over the years, along with Bedouins in the Negev (3.9%) and residents of East Jerusalem (4.8%). Conversely, Christians and Druze remain relatively stable as smaller groups (less than 2% each).
  • In 2022, more than half of Arab young adults are concentrated in the Northern District and Haifa.
  • When considering marital status, a significant portion of Arab young adults remain single, with approximately 97.8% of males and 83.1% of females aged 18-24 in this category. Among those aged 25-34, the percentage of single individuals decreases but remains notable, with 49.6% of males and 21.5% of females still unmarried.
  • The divorce rate among Muslim young adults has risen steadily from 2000 to 2021, reaching 14% for men and 9.9% for women.
  • Regarding religious affiliation, a significant portion of Arab youth identify as religious or not very religious, making up 52.5% of the demographic.


Human Capital – Education, Employment and Skills

  • 9% of Arab students pass a Hebrew exam in high school.1
  • The percentage of Arab young adults completing more than 11 years of education surged from 70.5% in 2000 to 92.5% in 2021, albeit lower than the 96.8% rate among Jews and others.
    • Matriculation eligibility reached 67% among Arab high school students.
    • Around 18% received an academic degree during 2000 – 2021.
    • From 2016 to 2021, 26.5% of Arab students pursued medicine, while 18.3% opted for education.
  • 2% have a driving license.
  • In the 18-24 age group, 33.2% are employed.
  • The employment rate among Arabs aged 25-34 was notably lower at 55.5%, as opposed to 79.5% among Jews and others, with significant variations among sub-groups in the Arab population.
  • Among Arab young women the employment rate was lower than among young men, 42.3% compared to 68,5%.
  • 5% of Arab young adults worked full-time.
  • Acquiring an academic degree nearly doubles the gross monthly salary for both Arab and Jewish individuals, highlighting the importance of education in income generation.
  • The percentage of NEET (not in employment, education, or training) Arab young adults aged 18-24 in Israel is particularly high, 41.4%, compared to 14.6% among Jews. This represents a substantial increase from 35% in 2012, with the majority of the statistic reflecting the situation for Arab males.
  • In 2020, out of all students in vocational trainings under the supervision of the Ministry of Welfare and Social Security almost 24% were Arab young adults. The majority, 38.2%, participated in transportation training with half of them attaining the certification. Other popular fields of training included business management, beauty service, civil engineering, education and caretaking.
  • Gaps in employee benefits persist.
Health and Well-Being
  • A very high percentage of Arab young adults appraised their health and mental state as good.
  • Arab young adults have lower reported medical care or prescription needs compared to Jews.
  • 4% of individuals aged 18-34 report having special needs.
  • The percentage of young adults living in families below the poverty line was higher among Ultra-Orthodox and Arab young adults, 42.4% and 39.4% respectively.
  • The percentage of Arab young adults, and in particular, residents of East Jerusalem, who estimated that their economic situation will improve in the future was lower than the percentage among ‘Jews and others’ young adults.
Percentage of Young Adults, Including East Jerusalem Residents, Expecting Future Economic Improvement
  • 36% of young Arabs are unable to cover expenses for their basic needs.
  • A significantly higher percentage of Arab young adults lived in a apartment/ house owned by their family.
  • Percentage of Young Adults Living in Family-Owned Apartment/House
Involvement with the Law
  • The percentage of Arab young adults who were victims of crime in 2022 isn’t reported in this abstract.
  • Police files per thousand young adults were over five times higher for men than women and about two and a half times higher for Arab young adults compared to “Jews and others” young adults.
  • The rate of police files on violence in the family rose between 2010 and 2021, particularly among Arab young adults.
  • Since 2001, there has been a gradual decrease in the rate of young adults legally convicted, among both population groups.
  • 2,542 Arab young adults were injured in road accidents in 2021.
Personal and Social Well-Being
  • The percentage of socially involved young adults was higher than the percentage of politically involved young adults. The percentage of involved ‘Jews and others’ young adults was higher than the percentage of involved Arab young adults.

    Comparison of Social and Political Involvement Among Young Adults
  • 79.8% of Arab young adults expressed a high degree of satisfaction with their lives.
  • The percentage of young adults who reported that they had no one to trust in times of crisis or distress was higher among Arab young adults than among ‘Jews and others’ young adults, and higher among men than among women.
Trust Deficit in Times of Crisis: Percentage of Young Adults Reporting Lack of Trustworthy Individuals
  • A notable number of respondents reported experiencing some form of discrimination, with attributions including nationality (36.9%), religion (22.5%), origin (22.1%), gender (8.4%), and age (6.7%).

[1] Not including East Jerusalem students.

State Comptroller Special Audit Report on Government's Handling of Idleness Among Young People in Arab Society | May 2023 Learn more
Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel: Education and Employment Among Young Arab Israelis Learn more

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How Can We Help?

Do you need support integrating these resources and issues into your philanthropic, communal, or Israel education work? Reach out for consultations, connections to experts, program support, training, or to plan your next event or mission. If you’ve used our resources, tell us about your experience!

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