Study: J’lem residents more satisfied than others

CBS figures released ahead of Jerusalem Day find city created 50,000 jobs over 4 years; 91% say comfortable living in capital.

Jerusalem street 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Jerusalem street 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The capital made significant strides forward over the last four years in a number of categories – ranging from job and economic growth, overall quality-of- life satisfaction, tourism and cultural offerings – according to data released Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
The figures showed that 50,000 jobs were created in Jerusalem over the past four years, with 30,000 positions opening up from 2009-2011, and 17,000 in 2012. Additionally, the study indicated that 91 percent of the city’s residents are more satisfied with their lives than those in other communities across the country.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said the CBS report gives the city much to be proud of, and to celebrate, during this week’s 46th Jerusalem Day, which begins Tuesday night.
“After four years of investment and hard work, we returned hope to the city we love and proved that anything is possible,” Barkat said in a statement. “For the first time in years we were able to reinstate Jerusalem’s attractiveness for young people who choose to stay there.”
Indeed, one of the report’s findings was that overall life satisfaction among residents aged 20-24 rose, with an increase of 35% of young residents moving to the capital over the past four years.
Additionally, after 15 consecutive years of decline, for a third-straight year there was a 12% increase in registration for first grade and for kindergarten in city schools.
“On the 46th celebration of our unification, Jerusalem is a city that is alive and attractive – leading in arts and culture, education, tourism and international events,” Barkat added.
The data also showed that 59% of Jerusalem residents said they are satisfied with their financial situation compared to other communities, while 55% said they were very satisfied.
Furthermore, 88% of the city’s residents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their homes and residential areas, compared to 86% in Tel Aviv, 85% in Ashdod and 83% in Haifa.
The study also found that 3 million foreign tourists visited the capital in 2012, 80% of whom came for the first time – an increase of 11% over four years, and of 4% compared to 2011.
In the largest jump, there was a 300% increase in the city’s number of cultural events and festivals over four years.
This year’s highlights include the Jerusalem Marathon, which attracted 20,000 runners from 54 countries, the highly anticipated and unprecedented upcoming Formula One road show, which will feature race cars traversing the Old City, the Maccabiah and Euro Games, and a new underwater observatory as part the expansion of the Biblical Zoo.
The city also created a new bicycle trail in the Jerusalem Metropolitan Park which will eventually be 42 kilometers long. The park itself brings an expanded 250 acres of parkland to the city.
“Jerusalem is growing in every area and attracting visitors from all over the world. We will continue to invest and work hard to develop the capital of Israel and make it on a par with the world’s leading cities,” Barkat said.