Jerusalem nosedives in national socioeconomic ranking

The capital is now rated next to development towns Netivot and Ofakim, and behind Arab village Abu Ghosh.

November 7, 2016 16:55
2 minute read.
Homeless Israel

Homeless person on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The socioeconomic rating of Jerusalem is on a significant downtrend.

According to a rating published Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics, the capital is now in 61st place, 33 below its previous ranking, and sits today alongside development towns Netivot and Ofakim, and local councils in the Arab and Druze sector.

The rating is based on data from 2013; the previous rating was based on 2008 figures, when current mayor Nir Barkat took office.

MK Rachel Azaria (Kulanu) blasted Jerusalem's politicians, saying: "Instead of listening to the cries of distress, taking note that we have regressed by 100 years, and undergoing self-criticism, the city's leadership, which presided over the deteriorating economic situation, issues joyful cries when more money is promised."

Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria. (Photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

"State aid to Jerusalem has reached a peak, rising from NIS 186 million to NIS 500 million, and the city's leadership is still putting the blame on others, instead of taking responsibility for what is happening in the city. Does anyone imagine that people would celebrate if Israel's credit rating were downgraded? It would of course be called a failure of leadership. This is not a matter of the budget; it is how the budget is managed. I call on the city's leadership to take responsibility for the situation, instead of delighting at the city's decline," she said.

Azaria, a former deputy mayor of the capital, added: "Jerusalem is becoming a poor city that relies on money from others, like the overseas charity money once bestowed in the pre-Zionist era, as if there were no commerce, industry, or work outside the Old City, and as if we weren't going to work outside its walls, and hadn't grown into a city with 800,000 residents, one tenth of all the people in Israel."

Mayor Nir Barkat. (Photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Jerusalem has 827,000 residents, double Tel Aviv's 417,000. Tel Aviv's rating of 223 is the best rank among the large cities - 8 places higher than its previous rating, followed by Rishon Lezion with a 204 rank, 24 places higher than its previous rating, Petah Tikva (189), Haifa (188), and Ashdod (118).

The highest ranked community is Savion, and the lowest ranked is Neve Midbar. The local council with the lowest rank in the haredi (ultra-Orthodox Jewish) sector is Modi'in Ilit (6), and the lowest ranked city is Beit Shemesh (27).

The agency has promised to revise its index every two years from now on.

Ratings included 255 local authorities, 201 of which are cities and local councils, and 54 district councils. Values for the socioeconomic index vary from minus 2.344 for the Neve Midbar local council to 3.058 for Savion. The socioeconomic level for the population in each local authority is measured by combining its educational level, standard of living, employment, and age.

The local councils were classified into 10 groups, with each group sharing a similar socioeconomic rating. Group 1 has the lowest socioeconomic rating, and Group 10 the highest. The groups were not of equal size; Group 10 consists of only two communities: Savion and Kfar Shmaryahu.

132 local councils containing 46% of the population had a negative index value, meaning that they were below the average, while 123 local authorities containing 54% of the population had a positive index value (above the general average).

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