Photo Credit: Nina G via Flickr
Ben Yehuda Street in downtown Jerusalem

According to a special report issued on Wednesday by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of Jerusalem Day, more than 18,000 residents have left the capital city, compared with about 10,000 who chose to move to the city; only 21% of the city’s youth define themselves as secular, compared with 35% who say they are ultra-Orthodox, 24% traditional, and 19% religious.

The figures, based on 2015 data, show a negative immigration of 7,800 residents – 18,100 left, but only 10,300 started a new life in the eternal city.


Nevertheless, Jerusalem’s population has grown by about 19,900, with births accounting for 16,000, almost half of them Arab, and 4,100 olim. The main centers from which Israelis have moved to Jerusalem were Bnei Brak, Tel Aviv, and Beit Shemesh. Jerusalemeites, for their part, moved to Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh, and Givat Ze’ev (the latter being on the borderline of the city).

Of course, Jerusalem is still the largest city in Israel, with 865,700 residents as of the end of 2015, about 10% of the state’s population. Out of this number, some 542,000 are Jews (62.2%), and 323,700 are Arabs (37.4%).

In 2016, 23,581 babies were born in Jerusalem – 15,438 of them to Jewish and other women (65%) and 8,143 to Arab women (approximately 35%). The fertility rate for a Jerusalemite woman is 3.87 children on average. The fertility rate of Jewish women in the city is 4.28, higher than the fertility rate of Arab women in the city, which is 3.23.

At the end of 2016, the city’s population reached 883,000 residents, 63% of whom were Jews and others, and 37% were Arabs. The share of Arab residents rose by 3% within a decade.

Among the Jewish residents, according to the CBS, 35% of those aged 20 and over define themselves as ultra-Orthodox, 19% as religious, 12% as traditional-religious, 12% as “traditional, not so religious,” and 21% as secular. In the past six years, the rate of ultra-Orthodox among the Jews in the city has increased by 0.5%, and the rate of religious persons by 0.2%, compared with the previous six years.

In the school year 2015-16, 75,244 students attended the primary schools in Jerusalem; 49,000 were under ultra-Orthodox supervision, 13,500 under State-Religious supervision, and 12,500 were in the State-Secular education system. Only 34% of 12th graders in the city were eligible for a certificate of matriculation (Bagrut) compared with 64% in the overall Jewish 12th grade students population in Israel.

Finally, while 92% of the residents of Jerusalem are satisfied with their lives, compared with 88% in the entire country, they feel less secure in the city streets. Thus, in 2015, the percentage of those aged 20 and over who felt safe walking alone in their neighborhood at dark was only 71%, compared with an average of 81% in all the big cities. In addition, only 35% of Jerusalem residents are satisfied with cleanliness in their area of residence, compared with 53% of the general population.


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