Capital has lost 100,000 people, mostly Jews, since 1990

Half moved to suburbs, settlements for jobs and cheaper homes.

Some 272,300 Israelis, mostly Jews, moved away from Jerusalem between 1990 and 2006, according to a report released on Thursday. Approximately 170,000 Israelis moved into the capital during that period. An estimated 17,300 Jews left the city in 2006, compared to 10,900 who moved to the city, according to The Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem 2006, published by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. About half of those who left moved to Jerusalem suburbs, including nearby West Bank settlements, while most others relocated to the Central region, according to the report. The statistics reflected a trend of Jewish migration to the suburbs that began in the 1980s, said Dr. Maya Choshen, the report's editor. The main reasons cited by people who left Jerusalem in the past were better job opportunities and more affordable housing available outside the capital. Since the city was reunited in 1967, when 74% of its population was Jewish, the Arab population has grown by 268%, compared to 143% for Jews, the survey found. Jerusalem has 750,000 residents: nearly 500,000 Jews and more than 250,000 Arabs, with the ratio between the two groups remaining steady between 2004 and 2006 at 66:34. Choshen said the fact that the capital failed to attract more people than those who left over the past decade and half was equally if not more significant than the continuing exodus. "The problem is that Jerusalem is not attractive enough for young people and the middle class," Choshen said. The municipality alone would not be able to make Jerusalem a desirable place to live, and the government needed to become involved, she said. "The statistics unequivocally show that the government has not been successful in implementing its policy of preserving the Jewish majority in the city," Choshen said. Some 2,500 new immigrants made the capital their home in 2006 (13% of that year's total), including 800 from the United States, 570 from France and 340 from the former Soviet Union, the report said. More than 60,000 people who immigrated to Israel since 1990 have made Jerusalem their home, accounting for 13% of the city's Jewish population. Jerusalem remains a very young city. The median age for city residents at the end of 2006 was 23; among Jewish residents it was 25 and among the Arab population it was 19.