'Most J'lem kids will be Arab by 2020'

JIIS survey: Annual Jewish growth rate consistently behind Arab rate.

February 21, 2007 23:42
1 minute read.
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The majority of Jerusalem's children will be Arab by 2020 if current trends continue, according to a survey released on Wednesday by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. Overall, Arabs will constitute 40 percent of the city's population by then. The 245,000 Arabs living in the city in 2005, the last data available, make up 34% of the capital's 720,000 residents, with Jews the remaining 475,000 (66%). The annual growth rate of the Jewish population in Jerusalem is only 2.7%, far behind the Arab's rate of 3.4%. At the end of 1967, Jerusalem's population was 266,000, with 68,600 Arabs (26%) and 197,700 Jews (74%). Since the Six-Day War, the Arab population in the city has had a growth rate of 257% compared to a Jewish rate of 140%. The institute published only some of the data from the study, ahead of its full publication near the date commemorating 40 years since the capital's unification that will be marked May 16, 2007. According to Prof. Sergio DellaPergola, a specialist on the demography of Jewish communities upon whose work the study is based, there are three options for changing that demographic trend: "First, to create attractive conditions that will draw to Jerusalem new residents with a strong socioeconomic status. Today, Jerusalem's biggest problem is a negative migration balance. Second, there is the option of adding to Jerusalem other municipalities like Ma'aleh Adumim. And the last option is to give the Arab neighborhoods to the Palestinian Authority."

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