Ultra-Orthodox Jews take part in the 'Mayim Shelanu' ceremony to collect water from a natural spring to make matza.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
One third of Jerusalem’s inhabitants are ultra-Orthodox, while only 21 percent are secular, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of Jerusalem Day.
According to the report, Jerusalem’s population at the end of 2015 stood at 870,000 people, accounting for 10% of Israel’s population – making it the largest city in the country.
The findings revealed that at the end of 2014 there were 534,000 residents who identified as Jewish, non-Arab Christian or other religions, making up 63% of the total city population; while the Arab population stood at 316,000, or 37% of the city’s residents.
Among the Jews residing in the city, 32% defined themselves as ultra-Orthodox, 17% as religious, 13% as traditional- religious, 15% are traditional but not very religious and 21% defined themselves as secular.
Compared to the periods between 2002-2007 and 2008- 2015, the report found that the ultra-Orthodox population increased by 5 percentage points during the time frame while the percentage of secular and traditional Jews decreased by seven percentage points.
The report also noted that 77% of the Jerusalem’s inhabitants are veteran residents having lived in the city for more than 20 years – 68% Jews and 94% Arabs.
During 2014 the population of Jerusalem grew by 20,000 residents. Some 19,800 people joined the population due to natural growth such as new births and 3,700 people as a result of immigration, while 3,500 people left the city.
A majority of residents relocated to Jerusalem from Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv, and Beit Shemesh, while the majority of residents leaving the city relocated to Beit Shemesh, Tel Aviv, and Givat Ze’ev.
With regards to the fertility rate, the report cited that the average number of children per woman in Jerusalem stood at 3.91 – slightly higher than the national average of 3.08.
According to the data, Jerusalem households comprise of an average 3.8 people, larger than the national average of 3.3 and average households in other major cities such as Tel Aviv, 2.3, Haifa, 2.5 and Rishon Lezion, 3.
Jewish households in the city comprise of an average of 3.3 people compared to Arab households with an average of 5.2 people (compared to the national average of 4.6).
Among the eight largest cities in Israel, Jerusalem was found to have the lowest monthly net income of NIS 12,164 per person, while the monthly expenditures stood at NIS 11,528. The report stated that this marked the smallest difference between net income and expenditures – a gap of NIS 636.
The report further indicated that percentage of the labor force in Jerusalem in 2015 stood at 51.9%, compared to the national average of 64.1%; of which 88.4% of those employed work in their locality of residence.
With regard to housing, only 57.9% of the city’s residents own an apartment, with the average apartment costing NIS 1,862,000. In contrast, 30.9% live in rented housing, with the average monthly rent cost standing at NIS 3,178.
According to the report, 73% of the city’s residents said they will continue to live in the same area for the next five years – 76% of Jews and 94% of Arabs.
However, only 79% of Jerusalem’s residents believe that in their neighborhood people from different backgrounds can get along well – 90% of Jews and 62% of Arabs – significantly lower than the national average of 86%.
Despite this, the report cited that of the adult population (aged 20 years old and above) in Jerusalem, 89% said they are satisfied with their lives – 92 % of Jews and 82 % of Arabs – compared to the national average of 88%.