Jerusalem 2019: Facts and figures

The city is the largest in the country, both in area and population. But Jerusalem not only has the distinction of being the capital, it also ranks as Israel’s poorest city.

June 6, 2019 11:30
2 minute read.
Jerusalem 2019: Facts and figures

Jerusalem 2019. (photo credit: SANDER CROMBACH/UNSPLASH / CHART: MORAN SNIR)


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Of Jerusalem’s 901,300 residents, 60.5 % are Jewish, 36.5% Muslim, 1.8% Christian and 1.2% specify no religion at all.

The city is the largest in the country, both in area and population. But Jerusalem not only has the distinction of being the capital, it also ranks as Israel’s poorest city. It belongs to the Level 2 – the lowest in socioeconomic definitions of the Treasury, while its housing prices are skyrocketing and the quality of employment is still not attractive enough for the young educated generation.

But this year, for the first time in more than a decade, the statistics also include some good news. While during the years 2012-2016 the number of Jerusalemites who left the city stood at 18,000, it dropped in 2017 to 17,100. Net migration is still high, but the number of those moving away continues to drop. The majority of those who leave Jerusalem are still Jewish (of all streams) but there are also Arabs who leave, among them mostly those who hold Israeli citizenship and therefore do not lose their residence right to come back to Jerusalem.

Who are newcomers, and those leaving? According to the findings of the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research, most new residents are originally from Tel Aviv and its surroundings. Conversely, the majority of those leaving remain in the metropolitan area, mostly in haredi towns in the region. In both cases, those moving in or out tend to be young families.

Aliyah also impacts on the city’s migration, with 2,951 new olim arriving in 2017, 800 of them from the US.

Regarding Jerusalem neighborhoods, most of those migrating out left from Ramot, which has 47,380 residents. Those moving in preferred the German Colony, the Greek Colony, Talbiyeh or Talpiot, which gained 1,290 new residents.

Continuing an ongoing trend in recent years, Jewish women in Jerusalem have more children than their Arab neighbors. Among the Jewish sector, the fertility rate stands at 4.3 children (3.8 in 2000) while in the Arab sector it is 3.3 in 2017 (compared to 4.2 in 2000.) At 3.9 children per woman, Jerusalemites have more children than the national average of 3.1.

Jerusalem is far more religiously observant than the rest of the country: 31% religious (24% in the country in general), 35% haredi (10% in the country), and 34% secular (67% in the country in general).

25,000 children were born in Jerusalem during 2017, but 3,500 people died.

Source: Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

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