Jerusalem Bus Station
Jerusalem Bus Station Flash 90

Fewer young people moved out of Jerusalem last year, the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies (JIIS) said Sunday. Two thousand Israelis between the ages of 20 and 34 left the city in 2012, the continuation of a trend that began after 2009, when a record 3,000 young residents left the city.

Among the main reasons why young Israelis move out of Jerusalem, JIIS experts said, was because of the lack of affordable housing in the city. Prices in the suburbs outside of Jerusalem, including Maale Adumim, Gush Etzion, and towns in the Binyamin region within commuting distance of Jerusalem – such as Adam and Beit El – are up to 40% less than for the equivalent housing in the city itself.

The trend towards fewer young families leaving the city is due to attempts by the government to secure affordable housing. A recent program awarded a NIS 100,000 grant to young families to help them buy a home. But the JIIS report added that more government help was needed in order to ensure that more young families remain in Jerusalem.

For those leaving the city, the majority choose the Tel Aviv area for their new homes, with Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Sefer, Bnei Brak, and Beitar I'lit following.

The fastest growing population segment in the city is the young hareidi population, age 24 and under. The secular and Religious Zionist populations continued their relative decline last year, the report said, with hareidi populations accounting for an increasingly larger percentage of the population. About a third of Jerusalemites consider themselves hareidi, up from 29% in 2008.