Daily Israel Report

What Troubles? 88% of Jerusalemites are Happy with their Lives

The capital is booming. Four million tourists spent at least one night in Jerusalem in 2013 – more than did so in Tel Aviv or Haifa.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/26/2014, 12:32 PM

Hareidi children, Jerusalem (file)
Hareidi children, Jerusalem (file)
Tova Dvorin

Jerusalem is growing and thriving, in all possible parameters, statistics released for the 47th Jerusalem Day show.

Central Bureau of Statistics data show that 88% of Jerusalem's adult residents are pleased with their lives, and 64% think their lives will be better in the coming years.

While 75% are pleased with their place of residence and 51% are pleased with their economic situation, 70% of Jerusalem's residents feel safe in the city.

Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel and continues to grow in all sectors. Education in the Zionist sector has been growing in the last four years, after 15 years of continuous decline. The combined religious Zionist and mamlachti (state/secular) Zionist school sector has grown from 58,908 pupils in 2010/11 to 62,941 pupils in 2013/14.

The number of first graders in the Zionist schools is expected to rise by 5% next year.

More students are eligible for 'bagrut' matriculation certificates: 76% in the religious-Zionist sector – up from 71% last year – and 69% in the mamlachti sector, up from 66% last year.

About 30,000 young people moved to Jerusalem in the last four years. In 2012, most of these – 51% – were aged 20-34, and came from greater Tel Aviv or greater Jerusalem. Most people who move out of Jerusalem into cities choose Tel Aviv, Beit Shemesh, Modiin Illit, Bnei Brak and Beitar Illit. Other than Tel Aviv, all those cities have sizable hareidi populations, and the latter three are hareidi-majority, suggesting a significant proportion of those moving out are hareidi Jews seeking cheaper housing opportunities and space outside of the crowded capital.

About four million tourists slept in Jerusalem in 2012 – more than did so in Tel Aviv and Haifa.

Jerusalem's hi-tech industry yielded an income of almost 12 billion shekels, as opposed to 6.7 billion in Tel Aviv and 7 billion in Haifa.

CBS statistics indicate that 2013 had been a record year for the number of Jerusalem residential units whose construction had begun, and also in the number whose construction had been completed. Construction of a total of 3,442 housing units was started in 2013, breaking a 20-year record, and up from 2,470 in 2012, and 2,360 in 2011. 

Housing completions were similarly up in 2013, reaching 2,430 units, compared with 1,760 in 2012 and 1,360 in 2011.

Earlier this month, Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat and Israel's Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) hailed the record building in Jerusalem. Ariel said it was an important step towards making housing more affordable in the increasingly expensive capital.