Ashdod's chareidi areas are the most crowded parts of the city, according to the statistical yearbook presented last week to Ashdod's city council members.
The yearbook is produced through collective efforts by all of the municipality's various units that compiled the many figures, which were then processed by the advisor to the municipality's Strategic Planning Unit.
As of 2008 Ashdod's most densely populated area was Rova Zayin, with 27.3 people per dunam (0.25 acre), followed by Rova Chet with 24.3 inhabitants per dunam, Rova Gimmel with 23.8 and Rova Hacity with 23.6. In contrast, the marina area has 1.5 people per dunam.
Rova Gimmel is the most densely populated, with 19,805 inhabitants. Rova Hacity is a close second, with 19,735 and boasts the largest number of households — 6,164.
Rova Yud Gimmel has the largest number of immigrants — 7,990 in 2008.
The statistical yearbook does not offer an answer to the big question, the total number of residents in Ashdod, but cites two leading opinions. According to the Interior Ministry the coastal city has 230,000 residents, while the figure of the Central Bureau for Statistics hovers around the 210,000 mark. The discrepancy is due to the way the respective bodies calculate. For instance, the Interior Ministry counts people who have left the country, but who still list their address as Ashdod.
The city's natural population growth is among the highest in the country, primarily thanks to the chareidi sector. Every year 4,000 babies are born in Ashdod, with births concentrated in the predominantly chareidi neighborhoods — 630 births in Rova Zayin and 599 births in Rova Gimmel.
In 2009 6,149 residents left Ashdod, while 4,848 migrated into the city. In 2008, as well, more residents left than came.
The data also shows that Ashdod has 50,000 students in the educational system. Secular schools account for 23,129 students, nationalist-religious schools have 8,573 students, 18,738 students are enrolled at chareidi institutions and 857 study in special education programs.