Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Jewish Population Older Than Average

I am posting this here because I am working on an essay about the future of Israel and the Jewish people and this is a very important source. (I don't know if JPost will keep this online and I didn't want to lose it.)

From The Jerusalem Post:

May. 17, 2005 1:10 | Updated May. 17, 2005 16:33
Jewish population older than average

The Jewish population, particularly in the Diaspora, has a far higher proportion of elderly than the rest of the world, according to statistics to be released by the Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute Tuesday.

In 2004, 11.5 percent of the Jewish Israeli population was over the age of 65, as was 18% of the Diaspora. The Jewish population average of 16% is more than twice as high as the world's proportion of elderly, which stands at 7%.

Report co-editor Jenny Brodsky attributed the large proportion of Jewish elderly primarily to a relatively low birthrate among Jews as compared to the rest of the world. Birthrates also explain why Israelis, with more young children per family than Diaspora Jews, have a lower percentage of elderly than other Jews.

Brodsky also pointed to assimilation in the Diaspora as a partial explanation for the large number of older Jews. "The youngest sectors are those which tend to assimilate, leaving you with a higher proportion of the elderly population that identifies as Jewish."

An additional factor – though not a major one, according to Brodsky – could be the greater affluence of Jews in comparison to other world populations. "There is a significant relationship between life expectancy and socioeconomic status," she said.

The data, culled from the Central Bureau of Statistics, the ministries of health and social affairs, research institutes and other institutions, also indicated that Israeli males are among the world leaders in lifespan.

The life expectancy of men here, 77.5, places Israel approximately fifth in the world. The life expectancy of women, 81.5, puts Israel in 18th place. Jewish men live on average three years longer than Arab men, and Jewish women generally live four years more than Arab women.

Brodsky said that she does not have concrete explanations for why Israeli male life expectancy is comparatively better than women's, but noted that Israeli women have higher mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases than their European counterparts, which isn't true for men.

The report also projected that by 2020, about 21% of the entire Jewish population will be over 65. Currently, some 24,000 Israelis are aged 90 or more, and 800 are over 100.


Post a Comment

<< Home