The official UN accepted number of Arab refugees is actually 4.8 million which takes into account their descendants.
Under UNRWA's operational definition, Palestine refugees are people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. [wow, just two years of residency and you are a "Palestinian" refugee. that's shorter than most citizenship requirements and, considering that many of the Arabs who became "refugees" were recent transients from neighboring countries due to the better economic situation in the Palestine Mandate, downright unfair]
UNRWA's services are available to all those living in its area of operations who meet this definition, who are registered with the Agency and who need assistance. The descendants of the original Palestine refugees are also eligible for registration. When the Agency started working in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, 4.8 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services.
By the way, in 1951, Israel informed UNRWA to stop assisting Jewish refugees from the territories of Judea, Samaria and gaza, just over 3,000 (with an additional 15,000 almost of non-Jews) as the stat of Israel could do that by itself.
[CORRECTION (k/t = EOZ): from the 1950 UNRWA Report - 30. In Israel, the Agency has provided relief to two types of refugees, Jews who fled inside the borders of Israel during the fighting, and Arabs in most instances displaced from one area in Palestine to another. Jewish refugees at first numbered 17,000 but, during the current summer, all but 3,000 of these have been absorbed into the economic life of the new State. Arabs on relief were first numbered at 31,000 but many have been placed in circumstances in which they are self-supporting, so that it was possible to reduce the number to 24,000 at the end of August 1950.
31. Recent discussions with the Israel Government indicate that the idea of relief distribution is repugnant to it, and the Agency was informed that already many of the 24,000 remaining refugees were employed and that all able-bodied refugees desiring employment could be absorbed on works projects if they would register at the government registry offices for that purpose. It was stated that they all have status as citizens of Israel and are entitled to treatment as such. It was claimed that after cessation of relief, aged and infirm refugees would be cared for under the normal social welfare machinery of Israel. The Agency was requested to share financially in a programme of re-establishment of displaced Arabs now within the boundaries of Israel.]
Now, the question has come up: if the number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is that "there were more former Jewish refugees uprooted from Arab countries (over 850,000) than there were Palestinians who became refugees in 1948. (UN estimate: 726,000)" ( from JJAC) but there's this, too: "A total of 586,269 Jews from Arab countries arrived in Israel with at least 200,000 emigrating to France, England and the Americas. Including their offspring, the total number of Jews who were displaced from their homes in Arab countries and who live in Israel today is 1,136,436, about 41% of the total population. At least another 500,000 currently reside in France, Canada, the United States, Latin America and Australia" (from this 2002 paper) can anyone accurately calculate a true number of "Jewish refugees from Arab lands" that need to be included in any discussion of refugee rights? Or is 1.2 million fair based on the above?
The Arab annual growth rate could be probably 1.0317.
If we start with 800,000 Jews and apply the same growth we get 5.2m in 2008. I'd say you could happily claim anywhere from 3.8 million to 5.2 million descendants of Jewish refugees which doesn't add up to the quoted figures above.
So, who knows math?
More than a million Jews were expelled from Arab and Muslim countries between 1948 and 1974, without asking for compensation or the right to return. Pierre Rehov's "Silent Exodus", is a tribute to their tragedy.
Full Length Movie
BOL has suggested these numbers -
Just by using the same growth rate as the Pals. we have this data:
Palestine Arabs, Growth Rate: 1.03, if in 1948 711,000, then in 2012 = 5,233,917
Jews, Growth Rate: 171.03, if in 1948 800,000, then in 2012 = 5,889,076
So, if the Arabs can claim 4.8 million (and not 6 million like that Coldplay recommended song asserted), well Jewish refugess from Arab Lands number 5.9 million.
While we're on demographics, consider this:
...fresh from the just-released update of the United Nations' population forecasts: At constant fertility, Israel will have more young people by the end of this century than either Turkey or Iran, and more than German, Italy or Spain. With a total fertility rate of three children per woman, Israel's total population will rise to 24 million by the end of the present century. Iran's fertility is around 1.7 and falling, while the fertility for ethnic Turks is only 1.5 (the Kurdish minority has a fertility rate of around 4.5).
...if present trends continue, Israel will be able to field the largest land army in the Middle East. That startling data point, though, should alert analysts to a more relevant problem: among the military powers in the Middle East, Israel will be the only one with a viable population structure by the middle of this century.
That is why it is in America's interest to keep Israel as an ally. Israel is not only the strongest power in the region; in a generation or two it will be the only power in the region, the last man standing among ruined neighbors. The demographic time bomb in the region is not the Palestinian Arabs on the West Bank, as the Israeli peace party wrongly believed, but rather Israel itself.