Basic Assumptions

The projections are given for 20 years representing four periods of five years each: 1993-1997, 1998-2002, 2003-2007 and 2008-2012. In deriving these projections, the following assumptions have been made:

Base Population
The mid-year population in the occupied territories of 1992 is estimated at 2,117,391 persons with 1,069388 males and 1,048003 females, based on a sex ratio at 102 males per 100 females. These estimates are taken from WBDP (1987) and adjusted by annual growth rates reported by ICBS (1992) for the period mid-1992.

Age Structure
The age structure for the same mid-year population of 1992 is estimated by FALCOT 92 with adjustments being made for the sex ratio of children in the 0-14 age group. For this particular age group, it is assumed that the sex ratio is 105 males per 100 females.

The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is estimated by FALCOT 92 using the P/F method (see the fertility section) to be 6.19 births per woman. The distribution of age specific fertility rates were smoothed using the Gompertz Relational Fertility Model (Newell, 1988). The following assumptions have been made concerning future fertility:

    Assumption 1: Sharp Fertility Decline
    TFR will decline from 6.19 during the first projection period (1993-1997) to 3.10 during the last projection period (2008-2012). This represents a reduction of 50% in TFR over a period of 20 years.

    Assumption 2: Moderate Fertility Decline
    TFR will decline from 6.19 during the first projection period (1993-1997) to 4.13 during the last projection period (2008-2012). This represents a reduction of 33% in TFR over a 20-year period.

    Assumption 3: Constant Fertility
    TFR will remain constant at its present rate of 6.19 during the projection period (1993-2012). Of course, it is quite unlikely for TFR to remain constant at this high level for the next 20 years. However, this assumption will most probably provide for an upper limit for the total population by the year 2012.

Using FALCOT 92 results, it is estimated that IMR for both sexes is 43 deaths per 1000 live births in 1988 (West Model). Moreover, it has been shown in the infant mortality section that females are at a higher risk of dying during infancy. Using the FALCOT 92 findings and the UNICEF and JFPPA (1992) results on IMR, the following pattern (table 2.14) of decline for IMR and the corresponding value for e0, the life expectancy at birth, is assumed for the projection period.
The underlying hypothesis is that it is possible to reduce IMR by 50% in 20 years given the current interest of international and local health organizations in improving the health status of the population in the occupied territories. Moreover, the current gap in IMR between the two sexes will gradually be closed through improved services and more attention to female infants during the coming 20 years. This decline in IMR will be assumed for all projections.

Table 2.14 Assumed IMR and Corresponding Life Expectancy at Birth For The Projection Period

Infant mortality ratio (IMR) per
1000 live births
e0 life expectancy at birth

Net Migration
The only figures available on the annual net migration balance are those published by ICBS. The 1991 figure for net immigration for the occupied territories (excluding Arab Jerusalem) is 9300 persons (5 persons per 1000). This figure has fluctuated during the past years, apparently with no systematic pattern. As for our projections, we assume that the net annual migration balance will fluctuate around 9 persons per 1000 in either direction during the projection period. This assumption is based on two hypotheses:

  1. The current economic and political situation will influence people to try to move out for a better future.
  2. The current peace process is giving the local population some hope of a better future and attracting some Palestinians to come back and invest in the local economy.

Three assumptions concerning net annual migration balance are made:

    Assumption 1: The Optimist
    An annual net immigration balance of 9 persons per 1000 throughout the projection period.
    Assumption 2: The Neutral
    An annual net immigration of 0 (zero) persons per 1000 throughout the projection period.
    Assumption 3: The Pessimist
    An annual net immigration of minus 9 persons per 1000 throughout the projection period.

    No information is available on the age structure of migrants. However, the following assumptions are made:

    1. Due to the labour force dynamics and traditions of the Palestinian society in the occupied territories, 70% of migrants are assumed to be males and 30 % females.
    2. The percentage of migration from each age group is assumed to be as in table 2.15

    The distribution (table 2.15) of migrants is designed to reflect a greater tendency of those in the age group 20-39 to migrate in either direction.

Table 2.15 Assumed age structure of migration
Age group%
55 + 0.0

Sex Ratio at Birth
The sex ratio at birth is held constant at 105 male births per 100 female births throughout the projection period.


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