Jerusalem in figures

Numbers providing a glimpse into the realities of our city.

Palestinian protesters wave Palestinian flags as Israelis carrying Israeli flags walk past in front of the Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian protesters wave Palestinian flags as Israelis carrying Israeli flags walk past in front of the Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City
(photo credit: REUTERS)
 One way to evaluate the situation on the ground in a city is to look at statistics.
Jerusalem by Numbers, the annual report of the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, was issued, in line with tradition, just before Jerusalem Day (marking reunification in June 1967).
Closing in on half a century of Israeli presence in the eastern part of the city, these figures (updated to the end of 2014) give us a glimpse into major trends and changes that have developed here over the years.
The first focus is demographic. Based on the statistical findings of the institute and department head Dr. Maya Chochen, Jerusalem’s population is growing faster than that of the rest of the country. With 849,900 residents – 533,900 Jews and other non-Arabs (63 percent) and 315,900 Arabs (37%) – the local global population grew by 2.4% in 2014, compared to 2.0% in the rest of the country.
The birth rate of Jerusalem’s Arab population is decreasing – with 2.7% for 2014 – about the same of the past decade, but lower compared to the former decade, when it stood at 3.1%. The city’s Jewish birth rate in 2014 was 2.2%, higher by far than in the rest of the country (1.4%) and compared to that sector’s local birth rate a decade ago (1.2%).
More Jews were born in the city over the past 10 years and in 2014 than Arabs, but this is only a part of the picture. The Jewish population increased by 19,900, compared to only 8,300 Arabs, but the percentage growth of the Arab population is still higher than the Jewish one – 2.7% to 2.4%.
For the third consecutive year, 2014 saw a decrease in the number of residents leaving the city; 10,400 new residents joined us in 2014, while 17,100 left us. The negative migration, at -6,700 residents, is almost 1,000 less than during 2011 to 2013, when it averaged -7,800. Chochen identifies this as a trend that impacts additional fields, such as the significant growth in students in kindergartens and elementary schools.
In the 2014-2015 school year, Jerusalem had 274,600 students, including 21,000 Arab students in the private system. In 1997-1998, the religious and secular system of public education had 49% of the city’s elementary school students; the haredi system had 51%. By the 2008- 2009 school year, these figures reached the lowest rates for the public (non-haredi) stream, with 39% in public (religious and secular) schools and 61% in the haredi system.
Since 2009, the first year after Mayor Nir Barkat took office, this rate has remained steady – with a continuing growth in the number of students in the public stream: 10,700 in the secular public stream in 1997-1998 compared to 12,200 in 2014-2015.
“In the last decade, there has been a steady growth of the public stream in education,” noted Chochen. The reason why there is no change in the percentage is that the haredi birthrate is higher by far than in the secular or religious sectors.
Meanwhile, 96% of both religious and secular public system students take the matriculation exam, while only 43% of haredi students do so.
As for the results, 75% of religious students in the public stream pass the exam; 72% in the secular public stream. In the haredi system, only 10% pass (compared to 16% for that sector on the national level). Among Arabs, 92% of the students take the Palestinian matriculation test (Tawijieh); 54% of the students pass.
In terms of work, 74% of Jewish residents aged 25 to 64 do so, compared to 50% in the Arab sector. Among females, the story is a bit different – 57% of local Jewish women work, compared to 75% in the rest of the country.
Regarding aliya, 2,771 new olim chose Jerusalem during 2014 – more than those who opted for Tel Aviv (2,721) and Haifa (1,686); in total, 12% of all those who made aliya in 2014 came to live in the capital.
What of happiness? Defined as being satisfied with their place of residence, 79% of Jerusalemites felt that way – compared to 83% in the rest of the country.
In terms of housing, 80% are satisfied, compared to 85% in the rest of the country. Specifically, in October-November 2015, Jerusalemites paid NIS 1.9m to buy an average four-room apartment, or NIS 4,650 to rent such an apartment.
This might impact happiness: In both cases, these prices are higher than in the rest of the country – although still lower than in Tel Aviv.