Roberto Bachi

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Roberto Bachi
Roberto Bachi.jpg
Born(1909-01-16)January 16, 1909
DiedNovember 26, 1995(1995-11-26) (aged 86)
Vera Colombo (m. 1934)
AwardsBublick Award (1972)
Rothschild Prize (1977)
Israel Prize (1982)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Rome
Academic work
InstitutionsHebrew University of Jerusalem
Central Bureau of Statistics

Roberto Bachi (Hebrew: רוברטו בקי‎; 16 January 1909 – 26 November 1995) was an Italian-Israeli statistician and demographer, and founder of the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. His research focused on the graphical presentation of statistics and the renewal of Jewish demographic studies in the diaspora.[1]


Roberto Bachi was born to an Italian Jewish family in Rome, the son of Clelia Lampronti and economist Riccardo Bachi [it]. He studied law and statistics at the University of Rome, receiving a Doctor of Laws degree in 1931. He taught statistics at the University of Sassari from 1934 to 1936, and at the University of Genoa from 1936, becoming full professor in 1937.[2] He emigrated to Palestine following the introduction of the Italian racial laws in 1938, where he became an active Mapainik.[1]

Bachi worked as a statistician in the Hadassah Medical Organization (where he founded a Medical Central Bureau of Statistics), and during 1945–47 in the Department of Statistics of the Mandatory Government.[3] He began teaching statistics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the early 1940s.[4] He studied the issue of sub-replacement fertility the Yishuv and corresponded extensively with major Zionist leaders of the time, conveying comparative data on the Jewish and Arab populations to David Ben-Gurion and others.[5][6]

After World War II, the Italian Foreign Ministry invited Bachi to resume his post in Genoa, which Bachi declined.[7] By 1945, Bachi had become associate professor of statistics at the Hebrew University, and was promoted to full professor in 1947. He was also appointed Statistician General of Israel with the foundation of the state in 1948, and founded Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics in 1949, which he directed until 1971.[4]

At the same time Bachi was among the founders of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Hebrew University and served as its first dean from 1953 to 1956.[8] He served as prorector of the Hebrew University in 1959–60. After his retirement in 1977, Bachi concentrated primarily on geostatistics and graphical representation of statistical data.[9] He was awarded the Israel Prize in 1982.

Selected publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kosmin, Barry A. (July 2014). "The Argument for an Inclusive and Transparent Approach to Jewish Population Studies". Contemporary Jewry. Springer. 34 (2): 93–105. doi:10.1007/s12397-014-9117-y. JSTOR 43547317.
  2. ^ "Bachi, Roberto". Enciclopedia Treccani (in Italian). Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Roberto Bachi". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b Bejarano, Margalit. "Bachi, Roberto". Encyclopædia Judaica (2nd ed.). Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  5. ^ Rosenberg-Friedman, Lilach (2015). "David Ben-Gurion and the 'Demographic Threat': His Dualistic Approach to Natalism, 1936–63". Middle Eastern Studies. 51 (5): 742–766. doi:10.1080/00263206.2014.979803. ISSN 0026-3206.
  6. ^ Leibler, Anat E. (April 2014). "Disciplining ethnicity: Social sorting intersects with political demography in Israel's pre-state period". Social Studies of Science. Sage Publications. 44 (2): 271–292. doi:10.1177/0306312713509309. JSTOR 43284231.
  7. ^ Klein, Shira (2018). "Fur Coats in the Desert". Italy's Jews from Emancipation to Fascism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 156–181. doi:10.1017/9781108539739.007. ISBN 978-1-108-53973-9.
  8. ^ Ram, Uri (6 November 2017). Israeli Sociology: Text in Context. Springer. p. 18. ISBN 978-3-319-59327-2.
  9. ^ "In Memory of Roberto Bachi". Genus. Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”. 52 (1/2): 13. 1996. JSTOR 29789218.
Preceded by
Director of the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics
Succeeded by
Moshe Sicron [he]