Arab Youth in Israel: Comprehensive Statistical Review

The Israeli government considers the socioeconomic development of the Arab population in Israel a top priority. This is expressed in Government Resolution 550 of October 24, 2021, in which the State of Israel declared it “a national value” to increase the integration of Arab youth in the economy, in higher education and in employment; to promote equal opportunities; to optimally integrate young Arabs in society; and to increase civil engagement of Arab youth. Towards this purpose, the government of Israel instructed the Youth Authority to collect data and regularly publish reports on young adults in Arab society, with emphasis on NEET youth (“not in employment, education, or training”).

This is the first time that a comprehensive statistical review of young Arabs in Israel, a population estimated in 2021 at 473,200 – 22.5% of all youth in Israel and 29.5% of the Arab population – has been published. This review was commissioned by the Youth Authority, originally established in the Ministry of Social Equality and relocated to the Ministry of the Negev, Galilee and National Resilience, and was produced by the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute in collaboration with the Israel Democracy Institute and the Youth Authority.

This review presents the unique situation of Arab youth to provide information that will help (1) develop services and tools to promote equal opportunities and optimal integration of Arab youth in the economy and society; and (2) reduce and prevent NEET among Arab youth. The objective is to establish a reference data set that will serve as a stable and reliable resource for a variety of organizations and officials, in order to plan for and discuss the needs of Arab youth in Israel, services currently available to them, and any gaps between the two.

The review presents a broad range of data on various characteristics and aspects in the lives of young Arabs in Israel, and where possible, highlights differences and gaps between Arab and Jewish youth and between different groups within the Arab population. Each section of the review deals with a particular area out of the range of aspects in the lives of young adults in Israel, and Arabs in particular. The first section presents the demographic characteristics of young adults, and the second section describes their geographic distribution. Additionally, a wide array of social areas are reviewed, including: family, K-12 education, higher education, employment, military service and national-civic service, NEET, crime and violence, housing, welfare and social security, disabilities and mortality rates, economic status, mental and social resilience, driving and traffic safety patterns, digital technology usage, leisure, culture and sports, and views and attitudes towards state services and agencies.

The review is based on population estimate data; on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) 2022 Statistical Yearbook; on data from additional CBS surveys: labor force surveys conducted in 2019-2021, household expenses survey conducted in 2020, the social survey conducted in 2021, personal safety surveys conducted in 2015 and 2020, survey of adult competencies (PIAAC) conducted in 2015; administrative files of crime and violence data in 2020 and 2021; data on those taking the psychometric exam and the YAEL Test for Hebrew Proficiency in 2021; and The Survey of Youth in the Palestinian Society in Israel, conducted in 2019-2020 by the Galilee Society – The Arab National Society for Health Research and Services.

Citing Suggestion: Ben Simon, B., Konstantinov, V., Badran, A., Zohar, L., Sorek, Y., &  Haddad Haj-Yahya, N. (2023).  Arab Youth in Israel: Comprehensive Statistical Review. S-85-23. Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute. (Hebrew)