- Life expectancy for persons with intellectual disability has increased over the past 100 years, and today is closer to the life expectancy of the general population (except for Down syndrome). In this study, we looked at trends in the numbers of Arab persons with intellectual disability living in residential care centers in Israel. Analysis of annual questionnaires to the medical clinics in all residential care centers for the period 1998-2006 revealed that the Arab population had increased from 749 to 921 persons in 13 residential care centers (13.5% of the total residential care population). Of the 921 persons in 2006, 58 were children aged 0-9 years and 260 were aged 10-19 years, with the majority having severe or profound intellectual disability. The increase in the number over time can been seen as a longer life expectancy in this population; the lower than expected numbers in residential care can be seen as a result of children staying at home with their families for a longer time than in the Jewish population.