Annual Yearbook Reveals: Yerushalayim Experiences Unprecedented Growth

An aerial view of the Old City of Yerushalayim. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Yerushalayim, Israel’s largest city and its capital, continued to grow even larger in both population and industry in the past year, according to this year’s Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, released by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research (JIPR) on Monday, ahead of Yom Yerushalayim, to be marked this Friday.

Yerushalayim continues to be Israel’s largest city, with 919,400 residents, making it twice as large as Tel Aviv and three times as large as Haifa. The city also has the largest Jewish (569,900 residents) and Arab (349,600 residents) population of any city in Israel.

The Yearbook, which includes findings from the end of 2018 until the end of 2019, was presented ahead of Yom Yerushalayim.

While Yerushalayim has the country’s largest population of elderly people, they still only make up 9% of the city’s population, compared with 15% in Tel Aviv and 20% in Haifa.

For a second consecutive year, the city saw 6,000 residents leave, the lowest level in a decade. Of those leaving, 46% have left for communities in the Yerushalayim metropolitan area. Housing in Yerushalayim is scarce and comparatively expensive.

On the other hand, the number of those who moved to Yerushalayim in the past year was 12,800, the highest-ever number recorded by the Yearbook.

Mayor Moshe Leon stated that the turnaround in the negative migration “is joyous and encouraging news.”

He noted the newcomers to Yerushalayim include “young families and high-tech people.”

“In the coming years, we will continue to develop housing, the economy, employment and education, and advance Jerusalem for the residents of the capital and the entire State of Israel. It is a matter of time before Jerusalem becomes the most attractive city in Israel,” he added.

Interestingly, the wage gap between men in women in Yerushalayim is the smallest in the country with a 20% difference, as opposed to 33% nationally, 32% in Tel Aviv and 35% in Haifa.

At least 14 companies in the city are working on projects related to the coronavirus outbreak.

For the first time, Yerushalayim surpassed Eilat in the number of hotel rooms in the city (11,100), giving it the largest number of hotel rooms out of any city in Israel. The past year was also marked by a continued increase in the number of tourists who stayed at hotels in the city. Some 1.26 million tourists stayed in Yerushalayim during the past year, spending a total of 4.17 million nights in the city. Israel’s tourism, in general, experienced a booming year in 2019, the same of which will not be said of 2020.


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