The projected number of Palestinians at the end of 2020 is estimated at 13.7 million. (File photo via social media)
The projected number of Palestinians at the end of 2020 is estimated at 13.7 million, of whom 5.2 million live in the State of Palestine, about 1.6 million Palestinians live in the 1948 territories, about 6.2 million live in Arab States and 738,000 live in foreign countries, said Ola Awad, President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) in a brief on the status of the Palestinian people at the end of 2020.
PCBS estimates indicate that there were around 6.80 million Palestinians living in historical Palestine at the end of 2020, whereas the number of Jewish population is expected to reach 6.88 million at the end of 2020. The number of Palestinians and Jewish population will be equal at the end of 2022 at about 7.1 million each.
The projected number of Palestinians in the State of Palestine is estimated at 5.2 million Palestinians, of about 3.1 million in the West Bank and 2.1 million in Gaza Strip. The percentage of refugees in 2017 reached 42% out of the total number of the Palestinian population living in the State of Palestine; 26% in the West Bank and 66% in Gaza Strip.
The total fertility rate during 2017 – 2019 has declined to reach 3.8 births, compared to 4.6 births in 1999 (3.8 births in the West Bank and 3.9 births in Gaza Strip). The average size of the Palestinian household has dropped to 5.1 individuals in 2019, compared to 6.1 individuals in 2000 (4.9 individuals in the West Bank and 5.5 individuals in Gaza Strip).
The child mortality rate of children under-five years in Palestine was 14 per 1000 live births between 2015-2019 (15 in the West Bank and 14 in the Gaza Strip). On the other hand, infant mortality rate in Palestine reached 12 per 1000 live births (12 in the West Bank and 13 in the Gaza Strip). Data also indicated a decline in the child mortality rate during the past 10 years, where this rate reached 15 children per 1000 live births.
The number of employed persons decreased from 1,022,000 in the 3rd quarter of 2019 to 935,000 in the 3rd quarter of 2020, by 8%. It decreased in Gaza Strip by 17% compared to the 3rd quarter 2019, and decreased by 5.5% in the West Bank for the same period.
The results showed that the number of employed persons who were absent from their jobs increased from 99,000 in the 3rd quarter 2019 to 117,000 in 3rd quarter 2020 by 18% The reasons for such absence are mainly related to COVID-19 pandemic and procedure followed to mitigate it spreads.
The number of employed persons in the local market decreased from 881,000 employed persons in the 3rd quarter of 2019 to 800,000 employed persons in the 3rd quarter of 2020, where it decreased by 17% in Gaza Strip and it decreased by 6% in the West Bank for the same period.
About 47% of breadwinners were absent from their jobs during the lockdown which extended from the 5th of March 2020 until the 25th of May 2020, taking into consideration a noticeable difference between regions by 54% in the West Bank and 32% in Gaza Strip.
The preventative measures taken by the government under COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of the educational institutions during the lockdown period from March 5 to May 25. Accordingly, such closure led to changing the type of education during this period to be an online/remote education in order to catch up with students on their school studies.
However, the results of Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Palestinian Households Socio-economic Conditions Survey, 2020, showed that 51% of households in the State of Palestine, with children between the ages of 6 and18 years, who were enrolled in education before the lockdown period, have participated in the remote educational activities during the lockdown (53.3% in the West Bank and 48.5% in Gaza Strip).
Results of the previously mentioned survey showed that 40% of the households, whose children participated in any type of educational activities during the lockdown period have evaluated the experience as being bad and did not fulfill the desired purpose. However, 39% of the households have evaluated it as being good and fulfilled the desired purpose, but there is room for enhancing this experience, whereas 21% of them evaluated it as being good and fulfilled the desired purpose.
The results of the aforementioned survey also showed that the income of 42% of the Palestinian households declined to half and even more during the lockdown period compared to February 2020.
The monthly expenditures on food supplies declined for 41% of the households during the lockdown compared with February 2020 (42% in the West Bank and 40% in Gaza Strip). About 29% of households indicated that cash transfer programs are the most desirable measures and procedures the government should be taken in such times of crisis (29%). While job opportunity and employment program came as the second priority (21%). Whereas the third priority is food supplies parcels and procurement coupons (19%).