Prospects of Change in Population Size

The official estimate of population size published by ICBS (1992) for the end of 1991 is 1,005,600 for the West Bank excluding Jerusalem, 676,100 for the Gaza Strip, and 156,500 for Arab Jerusalem. Based on the assumption that the 1991 growth rate continues through the first six months of 1992, the official estimated population total will be 1,885,070 persons. This estimate differs from the one we have used by 232,300 persons. A relevant question is what the population total would be in year 2012 if we proceed from the official Israeli estimate. This question will be further investigated in a later report.

Although it lies outside the scope of this discussion to speculate on the political prospects for the occupied territories in the coming 20 years, the fact that the Palestinian and Israeli sides have been negotiating a settlement since November 1991 cannot be discarded. If negotiations are completed successfully during the course of the next 2-3 years, it is expected that many thousands of displaced Palestinians (as a result of 1967 war, deportations, loss of residence, etc.) will return to area. This would strongly affect the future population growth.


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