Friday, October 15, 2010

Young Adults

Eitan Bluer

Research has shown that a young population holds the potential to introduce urban renewal and local economic growth. It is therefore beneficial to map out the distribution of young adults in Jerusalem and to identify future trends in an effort to gauge the state of the city and to plan for its future. Jerusalem is currently one of the youngest cities in Israel because of the high percentage of children, but it is actually within the national range in terms of its young adult population (ages 20-34). At the end of 2008, residents of Jerusalem between the ages of 20 and 34 accounted for 22% of the city’s population (170,000), the same percentage as in Haifa - 22% (57,000) and similar to the national rate of 23% (1,665,000), but substantially less than Tel Aviv’s rate of 30% (116,000). Mapping the neighborhoods in Jerusalem which boast the highest percentages of residents in their 20s and 30s may aid policy planning and planning services and infrastructures specifically tailored for their needs such as bus lines that service leisure centers, higher education, etc. In contrast to what one might think, Jerusalem’s 20 and 30 year-olds are not concentrated around Jerusalem’s City Center but, in fact, are spread out throughout the city in a rate similar to their distribution in the population. That is to say that Jerusalem’s largest neighborhoods have the largest numbers of residents aged 20-34. In 2008, 9,500 were living in Ramot (5.5% of Jerusalem’s population of young adults), another 9,300 were living in Pisgat Ze’ev (5.5%), 8,400 (5%) were living in Shuafat, and 8,000 in the Old City (5%).

The number of residents aged 20-34 as a percentage of a neighborhood’s population is a useful indicator that can provide information about the neighborhood’s makeup and potential for urban renewal. In 2008, the neighborhoods of Jerusalem which had the highest number of young professionals as a percentage of their total population were the City Center and French Hill (37%), Nahlaot (32%), Rehavia (30%), and Kiryat Yovel (27%). These neighborhoods also enjoyed the largest number of incoming, new residents between the ages of 20 and 34. In some neighborhoods, including City Center, Rehavia and Nahlaot, between 65% and 68% of the incoming residents were between the ages of 20 and 34, and in Talbiyeh and French Hill the numbers reached 53% and 50% respectively.