The Palestinian population in the occupied territories is characterized by a very high birth rate. The Israeli CBS (1992) reports a birth rate of 46.5 per 1000 population for the West Bank and 56.1 for the Gaza Strip during 1991.24 Moreover, the FALCOT 92 results on age structure show that more than 45% of the population is younger than 15 years of age. The pattern of annual births reported by ICBS for the years 1968-1991 shows no specific decline in the birth rate during the 1970s and early 1980s. It suggests, on the other hand, a rising birth rate since the outbreak of Intifada. As for the total fertility rate (TFR), Israeli published results show a rise in the TFR during the 1970s and a pattern of decline later on (ICBS, 1987). These estimates are provided for the period 1968 - 1984. For more recent years we have not been able to locate any published results on TFR and age specific fertility rates (ASFR). Moreover, the ICBS annual publication on population dynamics cannot be used in its present format to estimate these indicators.

Fertility indicators for the occupied territories have not been estimated by any independent source so far. The only exception is UNICEF JFPPA (1992).25 Being a major determinant of trends in family and future population size, the lack of reliable fertility estimates seems disturbing.
In this section, we use data on children ever born (CEB), classified by age of mother or duration of mother's marriage, to estimate various fertility measures.


al@mashriq                       960715