More Than a Third of Yerushalayim Jews Are Chareidi, Numbers Show

Tens of thousands daven at the Kosel during Birkas Kohanim on Chol Hamoed Pesach of this year. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

On the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Yerushalayim in the 1967 Six Day War, there were 883,000 people living in the city, making Yerushalayim Israel’s largest city – and 10 times larger than its population in 1948. Of the current population, 63 percent were Jewish and 37 percent were Arabs.

Of the Jewish population, 35 percent of those aged 20 and older considered themselves to be part of the chareidi community, according to the numbers culled by the Population Registry in advance of Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) this week. Nineteen percent called themselves observant but not chareidi – easily making religious Jews the majority in Yerushalayim.

Of the rest, 12 percent said they were “traditional,” another 12 percent said they were “not particularly religious,” while 21 percent considered themselves secular. Since 2010, the number of observant (chareidi and non-chareidi) Yerushalayim residents has grown by 0.2 percent, while the number of secular residents has fallen by 0.7 percent.

The city’s net reverse-migration also continues, the numbers show. In 2015, the last year that full figures were available for, 18,100 people left Yerushalayim, but they were replaced by only 10,300 migrants to the city. Among Jews, the favorite destinations were Beit Shemesh, Tel Aviv, Modi’in and Givat Ze’ev. The majority of those who left, according to polls, did so because of the high housing prices in the city, officials in the city government told Channel Ten.

With that, the city’s population grew by 16,000 in 2015 – with 8,200 more Jews and and 7,800 more Arabs. A total of 23,581 babies were born to residents that year – 15,438 to Jewish families and 8,143 to Arabs. Babies born in Yerushalayim constituted 13.2 percent of all babies born in Israel that year, according to the statistics.

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