Israeli flags at the Western Wall in Jerusalem
Israeli flags at the Western Wall in JerusalemFlash 90

Jerusalem’s Jewish majority continues to shrink despite a high-birthrate in the haredi sector, according to data released by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

The figures were released Wednesday ahead of the 56th anniversary of the reunification of the Israeli capital city.

According to the CBS, as of the end of 2021, there were a total of 966,200 residents, including 576,600 Jews, or 59.7% of the total population, 375,600 Arabs (38.9% of the total) - of which 362,600 are Muslims and 12,900 are Christians – along with 3,500 non-Arab Christians (0.4%), and 10,500 residents without religious classification (1.1%).

Since the data was collected at the end of 2021, it is estimated that the city’s population has increased by tens of thousands of people and is now close to one million.

Those figures point to a continuing decline in the city’s Jewish majority, which slipped from 60.4% at the end of 2020 to 59.7% at the end of 2021. That marks the narrowest margin of the Jewish majority in the city since it was reunified in 1967.

The haredi community makes up around 48% of the Jewish population in Jerusalem, and approximately 29% of the overall population in the city.

Of the 322,800 Jews ages 20 and above living in Jerusalem, 19% identified as secular (62,400), 25% as traditional (81,800), 20% as religious (65,600), and 35% as haredi (113,100).

In 2021, the median age among Jerusalem residents was 24.2, compared to 30.1 for country as a whole. Moreover, Jerusalem is characterized by a high proportion of children, with kids under 14 making up 33% of the city's total population.

Jerusalem has a high overall fertility rate, standing at 3.9, compared to 3.0 for Israel as a whole.

The fertility rate among Jewish women in Jerusalem was 4.4, higher than that of Arab women in Jerusalem, which was 3.1. The differences in fertility rates mainly result from the significantly higher fertility rates among the haredi and religious communities, as well as the decline in fertility rates among Israeli Arab women.

During the academic year 2021-2022 there were 183,100 students enrolled in Jewish schools in Jerusalem.

Of these, 37% studied in the state, state-religious, and state-haredi education systems, while 63% studied in the ultra-Orthodox education system. The Arab education sector in the city had a total of 119,700 students, representing 40% of the overall student population in the Jerusalem education system.

Jerusalem is the top destination for new immigrants, with 3,700 immigrants moving there in 2021, accounting for approximately 14% of all new immigrants to Israel.

In 2021, 39% of households living in Jerusalem (125,900) were below the poverty line, along with 51% of children in the city (202,400).

The poverty rate in Jerusalem is significantly higher than the national average, which in 2021 included 21% of families and 28% of children. Poverty in Jerusalem is particularly prevalent among the haredi and Arab populations, characterized by large families and low incomes.

Jerusalem was also the leading destination for foreign tourists in 2022, with 34% of all tourist accommodations in Israel registered in the city.