In 2009 there were 161,400 births in Israel, with a total of 164,400 children born. Two percent of the births were of twins. During this year, the average age of mothers giving birth for the first time was 27.0, compared to 25.5 in 1997. The average age of mothers giving birth for the first time among Israel’s Jewish population (27.9) is comparable to that of the Christian population (27.5) and higher than the figure for the Muslim population (23.4).

The highest numbers of births in Israel in 2009 were recorded at Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva (13,200), Shaare Zedek in Jerusalem (13,100), Sourasky in Tel Aviv (10,900), and Sheba/Tel Hashomer near Kiryat Ono (10,500).

An examination of the birthrate (the number of births in relation to the size of the population) indicates that the highest birthrate was recorded in Judea and Samaria (37 births per 1,000 residents – within the Jewish population only), followed by the Jerusalem District (29) and the Southern District (23). Haifa recorded the lowest rate (17). The three other districts – Central, Tel Aviv, and Northern – recorded a birthrate of 20 births per 1,000 residents.

Jerusalem serves as a national medical center for the country in general and for Jerusalem and adjacent communities in particular. The city has seven hospitals with maternity departments, three of which are located in Arab neighborhoods and serve the Arab population – The Red Crescent, Al Makassed, and Dajani Maternity Hospital.

The highest number of births within Jerusalem’s hospitals was recorded at Shaare Zedek Hospital (13,100 – representing 36% of all births in Jerusalem’s hospitals), which was more than double the number of births at the next-ranked hospitals, Hadassah Ein Kerem (5,800 – representing 16%) and Bikur Holim (5,200 – representing 14%). For several years now the number of births at Shaare Zedek Hospital has been at least double the figure for each of the following hospitals: Hadassah Ein Kerem, Bikur Holim, and Hadassah Mount Scopus.