Sunday, April 23, 2006

The "highest birthrate" myth

The Dallas Morning News has a not-so-terrible article about a couple from Fort Worth who are now "settlers". But the article repeats the myth that the Palestinian Arabs have some of the world's highest birthrates.

Forgetting the fact that a very convincing study was done showing that the Palestinian Arab population growth rates are a myth, let's use even the discredited assumptions and compare the Palestinian Arab birthrate numbers to others throughout the world.

According to the CIA Factbook, the estimated birthrates for the West Bank this year is 31.67 per thousand, and in Gaza it is 39.45. Combined, this would come out to about 34 (since the West Bank has more people than Gaza).

When put onto this chart, the Palestinian Arab territories would rank 44th in birthrate among 208 nations. High, but far from the highest (Niger, at 48.91.)

Just like the "Gaza most densely populated" myth, these lies are used to bolster Palestinian Arab claims, and lazy journalists repeat them without doing even basic fact checking.

(From reading the study at pademographics.com, it is interesting that the PA statistics for absurd population growth rates were based not only on false birthrate assumptions, but also on the faulty pre-intifada assumption that there would be over 50,000 Palestinian Arabs immigrating to the territories annually from 2001 on, when in fact there is a net emigration of over 8000 a year.)