CBS: Despite high unemployment, poverty rates, Jerusalem residents ‘satisfied with life’

Jerusalemites are happier than rest of the country despite higher numbers of those who "feel poor."

May 26, 2014 18:54
2 minute read.
Independence Day

Revelers celebrate Independence Day with a party in Jerusalem, May 5, 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Jerusalem’s population at the end of 2012 stood at 815,300 people, making it the largest city in Israel, according to a report released on Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of Jerusalem Day.

There are 515,200 residents, comprised of Jewish, non-Arab Christians or other religions, which mark 63 percent of the total city population; while the Arab population stands at 100,300, or 37 percent of the city’s residents.

Among the Jews residing in the city, 35% defined themselves as ultra-Orthodox, 18% as religious, 12% as traditional- religious, 14% are traditional but not very religious and 20% defined themselves as secular.

During 2012 the population of Jerusalem grew by 12,400 residents. Some 19,200 people joined the population due to natural growth such as new births and 2,800 people as a result of international immigration, while 8,700 people left the city.

A majority of residents relocated to Jerusalem from Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv and Beit Shemesh, respectively, while the majority of residents leaving the city relocated to Beit Shemesh, Tel Aviv and Betar Illit.

With regards to the fertility rate, the report cited that the average number of children per woman in Jerusalem stood at 3.97 - slightly higher than the national average of 3.05.

According to the data, Jerusalem households comprise of an average 3.9 people, larger than the national average of 3.3 and the average households in other major cities, such as Tel Aviv (2.2), Haifa (2.5) and Rishon Lezion (3.1).

Jewish households in the city comprise of an average of 3.3 people compared to Arab households with an average of 5.7 people (compared to the national average of 4.8).

The report further indicated that percentage of the labor force in Jerusalem in 2013 stood at 51.3%, compared to the national average of 63.7%; of which 87.2% of those employed work in their locality.

The expenditure on food, including fruits and vegetables, in Jerusalem was also found to be the highest compared to other cities, standing at NIS 2,387, while the expenditure on health and transportation and communications were among the lowest, at NIS 612 and NIS 2,135 respectively.

The report also revealed a steady increase in the percentage of students studying in ultra-Orthodox elementary schools in Jerusalem, from 57.3% in 2000/01 to 66.2% in 2011/12.

At the same time, the percentage of students studying under the state school system decreased from 24.9% in 2000/01 to 17.1% in 2011/12.

According to the findings, the percentage of people who “feel poor” in Jerusalem was the highest among all major cities in Israel.

Some 28% of people felt poor in 2013, 18% of the Jewish population and 45% of the Arab population.

In comparison, in Tel Aviv and in Haifa, less than 10% felt poor.

However, the report cited that of the adult population (20-years-old and over) in Jerusalem, 88% said they are satisfied with their lives, compared to 85% of the population of other cities – 90% of Jews and 85% of Arabs, compared to the national average of 88% and 70% respectively.

Furthermore the report indicated that 64% of Jerusalem residents believe that in the coming years their lives will improve, 58% of Jews and 76% of Arabs.

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