Palestine Today:

Special Statistical Bulletin by Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics

PNN, 14 May 2015

This year marks the 67th anniversary of Palestine’s Nakba of 15 May 1948.

Nakba literally means a natural disaster such as an earthquake, volcano, or hurricane. However, the Nakba in Palestine is a process of destroying unarmed indigenous nation to replace it by another ‘grouped-up’ nation.

In 1948, 1.4 million Palestinians lived in 1,300 Palestinian towns and villages spreading over all of historic Palestine. More than 800 thousand of them were forcibly displaced from their original towns and cities into the West Bank and Gaza Strip, neighboring Arab countries, and other countries of the world. Along with the displaced, some thousands remained in their hometowns in the so-called ‘1948 areas’. Documentary evidence shows that Zionist troops laid hand on 774 towns and villages and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages during the Nakba. The atrocities of Israeli Zionist forces also included over 70 massacres in which 15 thousand Palestinians were killed.

The Demographic Reality: Palestinian population has increased about 9-fold since the Nakba

The estimated of Palestinian population in the world totaled 12.1 million by the end of 2014. This indicates that the number of Palestinians worldwide has multiplied 8.6-fold in the 67 years since the Nakba. According to statistics, the total number of Palestinians living in historic Palestine (between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean) by the end of 2014 was 6.1 million and this number is expected to rise to 7.1 million by the end of 2020 based on current growth rates.

Statistical data also show that refugees constitute 43.1% of the total Palestinian population in State of Palestine. UNRWA records showed that there were 5.49 million Palestinian refugees registered in mid-2014. Around 29.0% of Palestinian registered refugees live in 58 refugee camps, of which 10 are in Jordan, 9 in Syria, 12 in Lebanon, 19 in the West Bank, and 8 in Gaza Strip.

These estimates represent the minimum number of Palestinian refugees, given the presence of non- registered refugees. These estimates also do not include Palestinians who were displaced between 1949 and the 1967 war, according to the UNRWA definition, and do not include the non-refugees who left or were forced to leave in the aftermath of the war in 1967. The number of Palestinians who remained in their homeland in the 1948 territory after the Nakba was estimated at 154 thousand persons, now in 2014 estimated to be 1.5 million on the 67th anniversary of the Nakba. In the 1948 territories, the sex ratio is 102.2 males per 100 females, while 35.4% of the population are below 15 years of age and 4.3% are aged 65 years and over, based on available statistics relating to Palestinians living in Israel in 2013. This illustrates that the composition of the Palestinian population in the 1948 territory is young, as it is in Palestinian society as a whole.

The number of Palestinians in State of Palestine was estimated at 4.6 million at the end of 2014: 2.8 million in the West Bank and 1.8 million in Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinians in Jerusalem governorate at the end of 2014 was around 415 thousand, of whom 62.1% live in the areas of Jerusalem illegally annexed by Israel in 1967 (J1). The fertility rate in Palestine is high, compared to other countries. The total fertility rate in the period 2011–2013 was 4.1 births (3.7 births in the West Bank and 4.5 births in Gaza Strip).

Population Density: Gaza Strip the most crowded place in the world

The population density in State of Palestine at the end of 2014 was 767 individuals per square kilometer (km2): 500 individuals/km2 in the West Bank and 4,904 individuals/km2 in Gaza Strip. In Israel, the population density of Arabs and Jews in 2014 was 383 individuals/km2.

Settlements: Most settlers live in Jerusalem as part of Israeli Judaization policy

There were 409 Israeli settlements and military bases in the West Bank at the end of 2013 and the number settlers was around 580,801 at the end of the same year. Most settlements are located in the Jerusalem governorate. According to data, about 281,684 (48.5%) settlers live in Jerusalem governorate, of whom 206,705 live in Jerusalem (J1). The ratio of settlers to Palestinians in the West Bank is 21 settlers per 100 Palestinians compared to 69 settlers per 100 Palestinians in Jerusalem governorate.

Israeli Settlers Use More Than 50 Million m3 of Water from the Palestinians Water to Cultivate the Land Seized by the Israeli Occupation

Data from the Ministry of Planning on the national strategic framework for the development of policies and interventions in the Area C, based on World Bank report indicates that the total cultivated area in Israeli settlements in the West Bank during 2013 was about 100 km2. The majority of the land is irrigated using more than 50 million m3 of the Palestinians ground water. Irrigated areas cultivated by Palestinians 2011, are about 78 km2.

Historical Palestine: Israel controls more than 85% of its land

The area of the historical land of Palestine totals about 27,000 km2. Jews exploit more than 85% of the total area of land. Palestinian comprise 48% of the total population in historical Palestine and exploit less than 15% of the land. A Palestinian therefore has less than one fifth of the area available to an Israeli.

Water crisis in Palestine

The situation of water in Palestine differs from other countries in terms of water shortage and the limited water sources that include only the groundwater and surface water. The amount of groundwater pumped in Palestine in 2013 was 262.9 MCM and the water discharged from Palestinian springs was 39.5 MCM in the West Bank for the same year.

The amount of water obtained for Palestinians from groundwater aquifers is estimated at only 15%, while 85% is drawn by Israel. To cover the shortage the Palestinians are forced to purchase water from Israeli Water Company “Mekorot” at quantities totaling 63.3 MCM in 2013.

The daily allocation per capita from consumed water for domestic use in 2013: 78.8 Litter/capita/day (l/c/d) in the West Bank and 91.3 l/c/d in Gaza Strip. However, 95% of drinking water in Gaza Strip doesn’t meet WHO standards and is also less than the minimum quantities recommended by WHO (100 l/c/d).

Martyrs: Continuous efforts to build a state

The number of martyrs killed in the al Aqsa Intifada between September 29, 2000 and December 31, 2014 was 10,062. The highest toll was in 2014 with 2,240 Palestinian martyrs, followed by 2009 with 1,219 martyrs. In addition, 306 martyrs, were killed during 2012, 15 of them from the West Bank, and 291 from Gaza Strip; 189 of them were killed during the Israeli attack on Gaza Strip in November 2012, and 56 martyrs, were killed during 2013, 42 of them from the West Bank, and 14 from Gaza Strip.

Detainees/ Political Prisoners

Data from the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees show that Israel has arrested more than 850 thousand Palestinians since 1967: more than 85 thousand were arrested since the Al-Aqsa Intifada. Know there are around 6,500 Palestinians in detention. Of these, 24 detainees are female, 200 are children, about 500 Palestinians are held under administrative detention (without trial) and 480 detainees are serving life sentences. Israel arrested 6,059 detainees during 2014. Since 1967, 206 Palestinians have died in Israeli jails as a result of torture, denial of health treatment or deliberate killing


Statistics for 2013 showed that the number of physicians per 1,000 population registered in the Physicians’ Union in the West Bank was 1.3 and 2.1 in Gaza Strip. In addition, there were 2.1 nurses per 1,000 population in the West Bank and 4.5 nurses per 1000 population in Gaza Strip in 2013. There were 80 hospitals in Palestine in 2012: 50 hospitals in the West Bank and 30 in Gaza Strip. These included 25 governmental hospitals, 34 non-governmental, 17 private and 3 hospitals run by military institutions, and one run by UNRWA. There were 5,619 hospital beds: 1.3 beds per 1,000 population and allocated as 3,263 beds in the West Bank and 2,356 in Gaza Strip. There were 622 primary health care centers in the West Bank in 2013 and 137 centers in the Gaza Strip.

Jerusalem; Systematically Judaizing

The Israeli occupation authorities don’t only demolish Palestinian houses but also hinder the issuance of any building licenses for Palestinians in Jerusalem and its boundaries.

According to Al-Maqdisi Institute, between 2000 and 2014, the Israeli authorities demolished 1,342 Palestinian buildings in East Jerusalem (the areas annexed by Israel in 1967). This has resulted in the displacement of 5,760 people.

Data show an increase in the cases of residents forced to demolish their own houses: 340 people were forced to demolish their own homes during the period between 2000 and 2014, the highest rate of which was recorded in 2010 with 70 demolitions and 49 in 2009.

Thousands of buildings were destroyed during the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip in 2014

Data indicate that the number of completely destroyed housing units during the Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip in summer 2014 was about 9 thousand units. Moreover, 47 thousand housing units suffered partial destruction. Furthermorer, 327 schools were completely destroyed, 50% of which served double shifts. In addition, six universities were partially destroyed. Holy places didn’t survive the attack either with the destruction of 71 mosques and some churches. 20 government buildings were completely destroyed, in addition to the damage caused to 29 hospitals and primary health care centers.

Labor Market 2014

The labor force participation rate in Palestine in 2014 was 45.8%: 45.7% among refugees and 45.8% among non-refugees. The participation rate in the West Bank was 46.6% (47.6% among refugees and 46.2% among non-refugees) compared with 44.4% in Gaza Strip for both refugees and non-refugees. The unemployment rate in Palestine was 26.9% (33.7% among refugees and 22.3% among non-refugees). The unemployment rate in the West Bank was 17.7% (19.3% among refugees and 17.1% among non-refugees) compared with 43.9% in Gaza Strip (44.0% among refugees and 43.5% among non-refugees).


According to the primary results of the Education data the 2014/2015 scholastic year, there were 2,843 schools in Palestine: 2,145 in the West Bank and 698 in Gaza Strip. Their distribution according to the supervisory authority was follows: 2,096 governmental schools, 349 UNRWA schools and 398 private schools. The total number of students in these schools exceeded 1.177 million, of whom 586 thousand were male and 591 thousand female. There were 778 thousand students enrolled in governmental schools, 290 thousand enrolled in UNRWA schools, and 109 thousand enrolled in private schools.

The illiteracy rate among Palestinians aged 15 years and above was 3.6% in 2014, distributed as 1.6% of males and 5.6% of females. It was 3.3% among refugees and 3.8% among non-refugees. In the field of higher education, there are 14 universities: 5 universities in Gaza Strip and nine universities in the West Bank, in addition to 19 colleges that grant bachelor’s degrees: 6 in Gaza Strip, and 13 in the West Bank. while, there is only University for Open Education has 15 centers in the West Bank and 5 centers in the Gaza Strip, while there are 18 community colleges: 11 in the West Bank and 7 in the Gaza Strip.

Macroeconomics: Consumer Price Index during 2014

The Palestinian Consumer Price Index increased by 1.73% in 2014 compared with 2013: by 3.84% in Gaza Strip, 2.85% in Jerusalem (J1), and by 1.20% in the West Bank. In comparison with the base year of 2010, the Consumer Price Index in Palestine increased by 9.42%: by 13.65% in Jerusalem (J1), 12.44% in the West Bank, and 3.14% in Gaza Strip.

Trade: Limited Palestinian exports

Both imports and exports of registered goods increased in 2013 over 2012. In 2013, the value of imported goods totaled USD 5,163.9 million, an increase of 9.9% compared with 2012. The total value of exports was USD 900.6 million, and increased by 15.1% compared with 2012. As a result, the net trade balance in goods recorded a deficit of USD 4,263.3 million in 2013, an increase of 8.9% over 2012.

The results indicate that 87.3% of exports destination was Israel, while only 12.7% of total exports reached other countries excluding Israel. The limited value of exports to other countries was due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinian exports, especially from the Gaza Strip.

Information Society

The percentage of households that have a computer in the State of Palestine, 63.1% for 2014, by 66.9% in the West Bank and 55.6% in Gaza Strip, compared with 50.9% of households in 2011. The results show that 48.3% of households in the state of Palestine has a connection to the Internet in 2014, compared with 30.4% in 2011.

Originally published at

The Palestine Project