Author's Department

Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Date



This working paper was prepared for the Centre of Forced Migration and Refugee Studies (FMRS) at the American University in Cairo (AUC) within the overall framework of the creation of a Middle Eastern and African Center for migration and refugee studies. The lack of available border registration data - Palestinian borders in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) are controlled by Israel - has restricted research on the demography of Palestinian migration. Furthermore, demographic statistics have been a political issue in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict since the beginning of the 20th century. A number of research studies, however, have been conducted on the demography of Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Work Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East “UNRWA” in its five fields of operation in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. (Khwaja, 2003)1 This working paper, therefore, aims to bridge the gap and to present some demographic characteristics of Palestinian migration, including refugees both in and outside the oPt by examining the evolution of the Palestinian population since the late 19th century. In order to explore migration trends in Palestinian society, the paper also examines the differences in the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics between migration patterns and populations in host countries. Finally, the paper considers some of the desirable socioeconomic characteristics of future emigrants from the oPt.

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