1931 census of Palestine

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Abba Ahimeir stands next to graffiti that call not to take part at the 1931 census of Palestine

The 1931 census of Palestine (which included Jordan and parts of Lebanon and Syria) was the second census carried out by the authorities of the British Mandate for Palestine. It was carried out on 18 November 1931 under the direction of Major E. Mills after the 1922 census of Palestine.[1] No further census was conducted in Palestine by the British administration.

The census found a total population of 1,035,821 (1,033,314 excluding the numbers of H.M. Forces),[2] an increase of 36.8% since 1922, of which the Jewish population increased by 108.4%.[1]

The population was divided by religion as follows: 759,717 Muslims, 174,610 Jews, 91,398 Christians, 9,148 Druzes, 350 Bahais, 182 Samaritans, and 421 reporting no religion.[3] A special problem was posed by the nomadic Bedouin of the south, who were reluctant to co-operate. Estimates of each tribe were made by officers of the district administration according to local observation. The total of 759,717 Muslims included 66,553 persons enumerated by that method.[4] The number of foreign British forces stationed in Palestine in 1931 totalled 2,500.[5]


Three volumes of data derived from the census were published by the Government of Palestine. They were edited by the Superintendent of Census and Assistant Chief Secretary, E. Mills.

  • Census of Palestine 1931. Population of Villages, Towns and Administrative Areas. Jerusalem, 1932 (120 pages).[6]
  • Census of Palestine 1931, Volume I. Palestine Part I, Report. Alexandria, 1933 (349 pages).
  • Census of Palestine 1931, Volume II. Palestine, Part II, Tables. Alexandria, 1933 (595 pages).


  1. ^ a b "Census of Palestine, 1931", A. Zaiman, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Vol. 96, No. 4 (1933), pp. 660-662
  2. ^ The Statesman's year-book, Volume 81, 1944, p. 197
  3. ^ Census of Palestine 1931, Volume I.
  4. ^ Census of Palestine 1931, Volume I, pp2-4,18.
  5. ^ Palestine; Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Jewish Problems in Palestine and Europe (1946). A survey of Palestine. Printed by the government printer. p. 161. Retrieved 15 June 2011. The non-local members of His Majesty's Forces, numbering about 2500 at the census of 1931
  6. ^ Available at Internet Archive

Further reading[edit]

  • Miscellaneous short extracts from the census reports at Emory University: [1].
  • J. McCarthy, The Population of Palestine, Columbia University Press (1988). This contains many pages of tables extracted from the census reports.