Arab-Bedouin society in the Negev is made up of approximately a quarter of a million people, with over two-thirds under the age of 21.
Arab-Bedouin society lives in the heart of the Negev and develops side-by-side with the region’s Jewish population. For over 40 years, the settlement of Arab-Bedouin society has gone on and off the public radar depending on the policy adopted by various state authorities. As of 2018, approximately two-thirds of Arab-Bedouin people live in recognized towns and villages: the city of Rahat and six municipalities (Tel Sheva, Lakiya, Hura, Kseiffe, Ararara and Segev Shalom) and two regional councils (Neve Midbar and El-Kassum), and one-third live in unrecognized villages.
The physical infrastructure and public services are underdeveloped; the employment rate is the lowest in the state, while the education system serving the Negev Bedouin population has failed to sufficiently advance its youth. At every age and according to every scholastic achievement standard, Arab-Bedouin performance is much lower than those of their peers. Drop-out rates from the education system (23.5%, as opposed to 10% in Arab society and 7.4% in Israeli society); high school matriculation completion (33.4% as opposed to 50% in Arab society and 68.5% overall in Israeli society), result in the lowest rate of those who completed academic degrees each year (2.5% among 25-29 year olds, as opposed to 4.3% in Arab society and 10% overall in Israeli society).