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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776
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JERUSALEM DAY

Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Holiest City

What's the secret of this city that's growing faster than most, while few of its residents are happy with the amenities?

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Photo Credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90



Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, is also its largest city. Its surface area comes to about 31 thousand acres, and in 2011 it had 804,400 residents, 499,400 Jews (62%), 281,000 Muslim (35%), 14,700 Christian (about 2%), 9,000 without religious classification on the Ministry of the Interior’s data, and about 200 Druze.

Back in 1948, Jerusalem’s population was about 82,900.

In 2012, Jerusalemites had some 22,800 babies, with 14,600 born to Jewish mothers (64%) and 7,900 to Muslim mothers (about 35%). Jerusalem babies constituted 13.3% of all the babies born last year.

The average Jerusalem woman gives birth to 3.9 children (higher than the national average of just 3).

The average Jerusalem household has 3.9 people, compared with the average elsewhere running between 3.3 (Ashdod) and 2.2 (Tel Aviv).

However, in 2012 only 50.5% of the population were part of the workforce, compared with 63.6% country-wide. And 7.8% of Jerusalemites were unemployed, compared with the national unemployment rate of 6.9%.

As many as 84.4% of employees in Jerusalem also live in Jerusalem. Only 63.4% of Tel Aviv employees also live in Tel Aviv.

As many as 31% of Jerusalem residents say they are “very pleased” with their city – that’s 41% of the Jews but only 13% of the Arabs. Another 57% are “pleased” and only 12% are plain unhappy.

However, the rate of Jerusalemites who are pleased with the cleanliness in their city is a mere 43%. In other towns it can get as high as 65% (Rishon Letzion).

A whopping 32% of Jerusalem residents say they’re Haredim, 21% say they’re just religious, 16% are traditional but not so religious, and about 19% are secular. Some 2% preferred not to answer, which is understandable, being that close to the transcendental.

In the school year 5772 (2011-12) 37,700 students attended institutions of higher education in Jerusalem.

Out of Israel’s six largest cities (the other five being Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ashdod, Rishon Letzion and Petach Tikva), Jerusalem residents spend the least per capita each month: $931.73.

Also, Jerusalem households own fewer entertainment gadgets than any of the six largest cities.

In 2012, 1,605 vehicles were involved in road accidents where someone was hurt – happily, that’s down 14% compared with 2011.

Finally, only 43% of Jerusalem residents say they are happy with the amount of park and recreation areas they get in their city—compared with the national average of 60%, and as high as 71% in Tel Aviv and Ashdod, and an amazing 76% in Rishon Letzion.

So how come Jerusalem continues to be the most crowded Israeli city? Because it’s Jerusalem, obviously. And that, my friends, is something Rishon Letzion is never going to be.

Yori Yanover

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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