Dr. Awad Presents a Brief on Palestinians at the End of 2021
H.E Dr. Ola Awad, President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) presents a brief on the status of Palestinian people at the end of 2021
About 14 Million Palestinians at the End of 2021
The estimated number of Palestinians at the end of 2021 was about 14 million; 5.3 million in the State of Palestine (3.2 million in the West Bank and 2.1 million in Gaza Strip), while about 1.7 million Palestinians in the 1948 territories, and nearly 7 million in the Diaspora (6.3 million live in Arab countries and 750 thousand live in foreign countries).
The Palestinian Population is Young; more than One-third of the Population is Less than 15 Years
The percentage of individuals aged (0-14) years constituted 38% of the total population at the end of 2021 (36% in the West Bank and 41% in Gaza Strip). The percentage of elderly population aged (65 years and above), at the end of 2021, reached 3% of the total population in Palestine (4% in the West Bank and 3% in Gaza Strip).
A Decline in Fertility Rates
The total fertility rate during (2017 – 2019) has declined to reach 4 births, compared to 5 births in 1999. It is noteworthy that the average size of the Palestinian household has dropped to 5 individuals in 2019, compared to 6 individuals in 2000; 5 individuals in the West Bank and 6 individuals in Gaza Strip.
Fertility Rate in the State of Palestine, Selected Years
The Educational Reality in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
The number of school students in the scholastic year 2020/2021 in Palestine reached 1,338,353 (665,294 males and 673,059 females), where 746,869 male and female students are in the West Bank (367,717 males and 379,152 females), while there are 591,484 male and female students in Gaza Strip (297,577 males and 293,907 females).
The number of students enrolled at higher education institutions in the scholastic year 2020/2021 in Palestine reached 214,765 (82,179 males and 132,586 females), where 136,920 male and female students are in the West Bank (48,830 males and 88,090 females), while there are 77,845 male and female students in Gaza Strip (33,349 males and 44,496 females).
The number of graduates from higher education institutions in the scholastic year 2019/2020 in Palestine reached 41,137 (15,228 males and 25,909 females), where 28,668 male and female graduates are in the West Bank (9,791 males and 18,877 females), while there are 12,469 male and female graduates in Gaza Strip (5,437 males and 7,032 females).
The Impact of the COVID – 19 Pandemic on the Palestinian Society
The impact of the pandemic continues to shed its shadows on our Palestinian people. Palestine has lost to COVID-19 more than 4900 citizens up to 28/12/2021. Whereas, more than 470 thousand individuals have been infected; 51% of those are females. Many are still suffering from this pandemic and its devastating consequences and impacts. It is worth mentioning that the Palestinian Ministry of Health (MoH) has vaccinated more than 1.8 million citizens up to 28/12/2021, according to the data of MoH. In the same context, the results of the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Socio-Economic Conditions of Palestinian Households Survey during the period (June - December, 2020) showed that 84% of Palestinian households expressed their concern about catching the infection of COVID-19 (36% were very worried about the infection), knowing that 15% of the households confirmed that at least one of them was infected with COVID-19, and 31% of the households, in which at least one member was infected with COVID-19, confirmed that their infected household members were bullied. As for the measures taken in case of infection with the COVID-19, results showed that 96% of the infected people adhered/committed to the home quarantine, 81% took only vitamins/antibiotics but without referring to any health center, 84% took only medical herbs but without referring to any health center, while 32% visited a public health center that was not specialized in COVID-19, and 48% visited a COVID-19 specialized health center.
The results of the said survey also showed that 30% of those infected with COVID-19 caught the infection when visiting family and friends, 22% from work, 10% from attending a wedding or a funeral, 8% from hospitals and health care centers, and 8% from universities and schools. On the other hand, 16% of the infected persons do not know from where they or their family members caught COVID-19. In the same context and according to a study carried out by PCBS in cooperation with the Arab American University (AAUP) during the period (September – October, 2021) targeting individuals (18 years and above) in the West Bank, results showed that 76% of those individuals developed antibodies to the virus, and no noticeable difference was observed between men (79%) and women (78%), while there are significant differences between those who developed antibodies according to different age groups, as the highest was for individuals (50 years and above) reaching about 84%, then individuals in the age group (30-49) 78%, and individuals in the age group (18-29) 69%.
Continuous Israeli Aggressions and Colonization
Within the Israeli systematic policy to uproot the Palestinian people from their land, the continuous aggressions practiced by the Israeli occupation and settlers against the Palestinian people in all of localities, especially in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan in Jerusalem, in addition to the Palestinian villages of Burqa and Beita to the North of the West Bank, including confiscating Palestinians' lands, demolishing their houses and assaulting them. Nonetheless, the Israeli occupation had demolished and destroyed 975 buildings during 2020, of which 30% in Jerusalem Governorate with an increase of 45% compared to 2019. While the Israeli occupation is building hundreds of settlement units, where 700 thousand settlers live in 151 settlements unrightfully set up on the Palestinian lands in the West Bank. On the other hand, the number of Palestinian detainees in the Israeli prisons reached 4,650 detainees up to 22/12/2021 (according to the data of the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, 2021), of whom 200 children and 40 women.