Monday, October 31, 2011

Be fruitful and multiply

Dr. Maya Choshen

A new study correlating fertility in Israel with the level of women’s religiosity, published in June of this year by Dr. Ahmad Hleihel of the Central Bureau of Statistics, states “In recent years there has been an increase in Israeli public discourse regarding the differences in fertility levels among women from the different groups that make up the mosaic of Israeli society. This discourse focuses on the future composition of Israeli society and, in particular, the composition of the work-age population. There are three principal reasons for this: fear of change to the future political composition of society, the socio-political character of the state of Israel, and the low rates of participation of two communities – Haredi and Arab – in the workforce and their significant influence on poverty in Israel.” Jerusalem, where a discourse on this issue has flourished for decades already, has preceded Israel.

In 2009 the total fertility rate (the number of children a woman is expected to birth during her life) was 4.0 children, which is higher by a third than the figure for Israel – 3.0 children. The fertility rate of Jewish women in Jerusalem (4.3) is significantly higher than that for Jewish women in Israel (3.0). The explanation for this lies in the higher proportion of haredi and religious women in Jerusalem compared to Israel. These women are characterized by high fertility rates – 7.5 children for haredi women and 4.3 children for religious women, compared to 2.1 children for secular women. The fertility rate of Arab women in Jerusalem (3.9) is also higher than the figure for Arab women in Israel (3.5), but the difference is smaller.
An examination of the patterns of change of fertility rates reveals that during the past decade the fertility rates of Jewish women in Israel and in Jerusalem have risen. Among Arab and Muslim women in Israel and in Jerusalem the trend has been in the opposite direction, with a decrease in fertility rates.

And now for the news: in 2009, for the first time, the fertility rate of Jewish women in Jerusalem (4.3) was higher than the fertility rate of Arab women (3.9) and was even higher than that of Muslim women (3.9). 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Little Red Corvette or Pink Cadillac?

Aviel Yelinek

In 2010 approximately 2.05 million private motor vehicles traversed Israel’s roads. Israel has a motorization rate of 267 private motor vehicles for every 1,000 residents, which is relatively low in comparison to other developed countries. Approximately 39% of vehicles in Israel were produced in Japan, 11% in South Korea, and 8% in Spain and in France (each). Interestingly, only about 4% of motor vehicles in Israel were produced in the United States. Among the private motor vehicles added to Israel’s roads in the past year, the highest relative proportion belonged to Mazda (16%). The company that came in second place was Hyundai (15%), and in third place was Toyota (11%).

The motorization rate and the average age of motor vehicles are usually indicators of a population’s socio-economic status. Typically, the higher a population’s socio-economic status is, the higher its motorization rate will be and the lower the average age of its motor vehicles will be.

The motorization rate in Jerusalem in 2009 measured 169 private motor vehicles per 1,000 persons, which was one of the lowest rates among the country’s cities. For the sake of comparison, the motorization rates in Be’er Sheva measured 198 vehicles per 1,000 persons. In Rishon LeZion this figure stood at 295, and for Haifa it was 321. The motorization rate in Tel Aviv was among the highest in the country, measuring 469 private motor vehicles for every 1,000 persons. As the graph shows, Jerusalem’s motorization rate is relatively low in comparison with its adjacent localities, excluding Beit Shemesh and the Haredi localities.

The data regarding the average age of private vehicles paint a similar picture. The average age of a private vehicle in Israel in 2009 was 6.9 years. The average age of a private vehicle in Jerusalem was the highest among major cities, measuring 8.3. The average age in Be’er Sheva was 7.2. In Rishon LeZion it was 7.0, and in Haifa it measured 6.2. The average age of motor vehicles in Tel Aviv was among the lowest in the country, measuring 4.8.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jerusalem Mix

Eitan Blauer

The mixing of allocated uses of land (hereinafter, “mixed use”) is an accepted urban-planning practice today. This approach allows a combination of residential and other uses, such as commercial, educational, cultural, and the like, within a specified planning zone (a building or street). The mixed-use approach stands in contrast to the separate-use approach, which requires separation of zones according to allocated uses. Jane Jacobs, considered one of the most prominent advocates of the mixed-use approach, believed that mixed use is a key factor in urban renewal and the creation of successful urban areas.

One can examine the mixed uses within an area by analyzing the data on residential and non-residential floor space. Areas with allocated uses approaching 50% residential and 50% non-residential are regarded as having the optimal mixed use. An analysis of municipal tax (residential and non-residential) allocations for 2010 makes it possible to identify the extent of mixed uses within all areas of Jerusalem. These areas were divided into a number of principal groups representing the extent of mixed use. The first group comprises areas in which over 80% of the built-up land is residential, with commercial-use land concentrated in one place. This group includes new residential neighborhoods such as PisgatZe’ev, Ramat Shlomo, and Ramot, as well as the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Issawiyya. The second group comprises areas with 60%-79% of the land allocated for residential use and includes the older neighborhoods that contain Jerusalem’s central commercial streets, such as the German Colony, Mea She’arim, and BeitHaKerem.

The third group (40%-59%) comprises residential areas with major commercial and business centers, such as the southern part of the French Hill neighborhood, parts of the Old City, and parts of BayitVagan. The fourth group (10%-39%) covers those areas where residential use is not the principal characteristic of the area, such as parts of the city center and parts of Giv’atShaul. The fifth group (0%-9%) comprises Jerusalem’s main commercial and business areas, such as HarHotzvim, the government compound, and the Malkha shopping mall.