The publication of the seventh volume of Arab Society in Israel: Population, Society, Economy continues the statistical undertaking of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, beginning in 2002, to document the characteristics of Arab society in Israel and the changes taking place within it. Like its predecessor, this volume is appearing in an electronic version that is accessible to all, including researchers, planners, decision-makers, and anyone interested in acquiring a deeper understanding of Arab society in Israel and of the processes of change within it. The data presented can serve as the factual basis for sociological, economic, political, and other analyses, both for research purposes and as the basis for social and political action. The volume focuses on all facets of the Arab population, thus making possible analyses of trends within Arab society in Israel and the identification of phenomena that are common to the subgroups within it, as well as enabling comparisons between Arab society and Jewish society in Israel. In this way, it serves as an important element in the broader efforts of the Institute to foster and strengthen civil society in Israel as one of the foundations of democracy and as a basis for an egalitarian, pluralistic, and tolerant society.
Each of the volumes in the series presents five areas in great detail: demography, work, standard of living, education and higher education, and local government (the last of these areas was added starting with the second volume). And, as in the last two volumes, this volume presents a developmental view of the data, in summary tables for the years 2001–2012, regarding selected measures, drawing comparisons of some of the developmental trends to those in the Jewish population in Israel. Moreover, since volume 2, each chapter opens with a summary of its selected findings, with tables and graphs that present data that do not appear in the statistical tables in the body of the chapter. These additional data are usually comparative data of two populations, the Arab and the Jewish, or of subgroups within the Arab population.
Besides these permanent features, other areas are highlighted with greater detail in particular volumes: health (volumes 2 and 6), attitudes regarding selected aspects of life (volume 4), and profiles of Arab communities (volume 5). In this, the seventh volume, we will examine more closely the topic of “leisure and skills.”