In Jerusalem Out-Migration Continues to Exceed In-
by Betzalel Kahn
Jerusalem's negative migration balance is continuing. In 2002
some 16,600 people left the city, compared to 16,000 in 2001.
Jerusalem's total population was estimated at 680,400 people -
- 458,600 Jews (67.4 percent) and 221,900 Arabs (32.6
percent) -- representing about 10 percent of the population
of Israel. The natural rate of increase was 19 percent in the
Jewish sector, compared to 29.3 percent in the Arab
At a recent press conference in Jerusalem the Jerusalem
Institute for Israel Research presented data from the city's
2002/03 statistical almanac. Mayor Rabbi Uri Lupoliansky said
residents are moving to outlying towns, and the demographic
balance is changing from year to year because the government
is not providing aid for housing construction and business
In 2002 just 9,700 people moved to Jerusalem, compared to
10,100 the previous year. Between 1990 and 2002 some 125,000
new residents arrived in the city and 207,400 left. According
to the almanac, 32 percent of departing residents migrated to
Judea and Samaria, the vast majority to Beitar Illit and
Modi'in Illit. Of the total number of outgoing migrants, half
moved to Jerusalem's bedroom communities.
The statistical almanac also shows that Jerusalem is the
poorest city in Israel, with 51.7 percent of its children
living below the poverty line, compared to 50.6 percent in
Bnei Brak, 21.7 percent in Tel Aviv and 29.6 percent in the
rest of the country.
Enrollment in the city's schools came to 203,000 students.
The chareidi school system is the largest in the city, with
76,150 students, compared to 64,430 at government and
government-religious schools combined, and 39,230 at Arab
schools. During these years enrollment in government and
government-religious schools dropped by 7 percent whereas
enrollment increased 16 percent in the chareidi sector and 43
percent in the Arab sector.
At the press conference, Mayor Lupoliansky said the
government is encouraging construction in all of Jerusalem's
surrounding communities through financial incentives for
apartment buyers and industrial zones while neglecting
According to a municipality-sponsored survey, he said, the
majority of residents leaving the city move out due to the
high price of housing. He called on the government to invest
resources into public construction in the city, to provide
inexpensive housing and to free land for construction, while
providing aid for the construction of industrial zones and
businesses in the city.