Capital's population hits 760,800

J'lem Day data: Arabs 35% of populace; number of haredim employed in industry up 70% since 2000.

Jerusalem Arabs 248.88  (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Jerusalem Arabs 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Despite the continuing exodus of young adults from the city, the population of Jerusalem increased by 1.8 percent during 2008, reaching 760,800, or 10% of the total population of Israel. The Jewish population grew by 1% during 2008, with the Arab community increasing by 3%. The data were released by the Jerusalem Center for Israel Studies ahead of Jerusalem Day. Some 429,000 Jews and other non-Arabs (65%), and 268,000 Arabs (35%) live in the capital. By religion, the report broke down the population to 476,000 Jews (64%), 247,800 Muslims (33%), 12,600 Christian Arabs (2%) and 2,600 non-Arab Christians (0.3%). One percent had no religious affiliation. Since the liberation of the capital's east during the Six Day War, Jerusalem's population has increased by 186%, with the Arab population of east Jerusalem growing by 291%, almost twice the growth rate of the Jewish population. Tourism to the city hit an all-time high in 2008, with 1,354,300 tourists staying in its hotels. This marked a 10% increase from 2007 and a 12% increase since 2000. The number of haredim employed in industry in Jerusalem has ballooned by some 70% over the past five years, according to Yitzhak Reif, the chairman of the Jerusalem chapter of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. Reif called on the leaders of the capital's ultra-Orthodox sects to allow their followers to pursue a technological education and a career in industry. According to Reif, who also released the data ahead of Jerusalem Day, around 2,800 haredim are employed in some 380 production plants in the city. Reif said the majority of employed haredim worked as computer programmers, and that in companies that employed haredim, the ultra-Orthodox generally comprised 2% to 10% of all workers. Some 20,000 haredim are employed in industry nationwide, 11,000 of them women.