Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Av 5763 - August 5, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











CBS Reports Significant Increase in Chareidi Population Centers
by Betzalel Kahn

Chareidi population centers such as Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, Modi'in Illit, Beit Shemesh and Elad posted substantial increases in 2002, both as a result of positive internal migration and natural growth. Kiryat Yearim (Telz Stone) did not show an increase in the number of residents, Rechasim posted a slight increase, Bnei Brak dropped slightly and Emmanuel posted a decrease.

Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) figures show that at the end of 2002 Israel's population numbered 6,640,100. During the course of the year the population increased by 131,000, an annual growth rate of 2 percent, which was lower than in recent years. The Bureau attributes the diminished growth rates to a decline in immigration. In 2002 34,500 immigrants arrived compared to 43,500 in 2001 (a 21 percent drop). The rate for 2003 seems even lower so far.

The following is a list of population figures for chareidi towns and cities in Israel: Beitar Illit increased from 17,300 to 20,200 residents, an increase of 2,900 people (a growth rate of 16.5 percent).

Modi'in Illit increased from 19,200 to 22,000, an increase of 2,800 people (14.8 percent growth).

Elad increased from 8,900 to 15,100, an increase of 6,200 people (69.2 percent growth).

Beit Shemesh increased from 49,100 to 53,400, an increase of 4,200 people (8.6 percent growth). A very substantial portion of this increase was in the new chareidi building projects.

Rechasim increased from 7,600 to 7,700, an increase of 100 people (1.5 percent growth).

Jerusalem grew from 670,000 to 684,400, an increase of 10,500 people (1.6 percent growth).

Bnei Brak maintained a level population with a slight decrease from 139,000 to 138,900.

Emmanuel decreased from 2,700 to 2,400.

The Central Bureau of Statistics notes Beitar Illit and Modi'in Illit posted especially high growth rates due to internal migration (meaning people who moved there from elsewhere in Israel) and high birth rates. In Beitar Illit 60 percent of growth stems from migration and 40 percent from natural increase. More than half of Modi'in Illit's growth (55.5 percent) came from natural increase and 41 percent from internal migration.

Elad's 70 percent growth rate came as a result of massive construction in the city, located in the center of the country. With a total population of 15,100 the vast majority (83 percent) of its growth stems from internal migration and a much lower figure (16 percent) from natural increase.

Beit Shemesh surpassed the 50,000 mark, finishing the year with a total of 53,300 residents with a high annual growth rate of 8.4 percent. The Statistics Bureau explains that the new neighborhood of Ramat Beit Shemesh, begun in 1990 and still growing to this day, contributed greatly to the population increase in the city in recent years. Most of Ramat Beit Shemesh's incoming residents are chareidim. Based on internal migration trends posted in 2001 most new Beit Shemesh residents moved from Jerusalem (half of all incoming residents), Mevasseret Tzion and Bnei Brak. Only a few dozen moved from Efrat, Emmanuel, Eli, Beitar Illit, Modi'in Illit and the North, particularly Tzfat. From the South, new residents came primarily from Ashdod and Ashkelon.

According to the CBS, the vast majority of Jerusalem's population growth was from natural increase, mostly in the chareidi and Arab sectors. Six thousand six hundred residents left the city for nearby towns.

In contrast Israel's third largest city, Haifa, posted a decrease of 400 people to 271,800.

The second largest city, Tel Aviv, posted a low but positive growth rate of 0.7 percent, increasing the population to 361,500.

Rishon Letzion increased by 2 percent to 212,100. Within the next few years Ashdod, which now numbers 187,600, is expected to reach the 200,000 mark.


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