Monday, May 28, 2012

Good Night Jerusalem

Aviel Yelinek

Much has been written about the importance of a good night’s sleep. The optimal length of sleep time varies from one individual to another, but most studies recommend seven to eight hours of sleep for adults. The quality and continuity of sleep are no less important and have an enormous effect on daily functioning and quality of life. The 2010 Social Survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics questioned individuals aged 20 and above about the number of hours they sleep per night and the continuity of their sleep.

The data reveals that almost half of all Jerusalemites sleep fewer than seven hours per night. A total of 5% of Jerusalemites reported that they sleep four or fewer hours per night, 42% reported that they sleep five to six hours per night, 48% reported sleeping seven to eight hours per night, and 5% sleep more than nine hours per night. These statistics are similar to the figures for average hours of sleep among residents of Israel.

And what about quality of sleep? Survey participants were asked whether and how frequently they had trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the whole night. The percentage of Jerusalemites who had trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the whole night on a nightly or nearly nightly basis was 12%. A total of 9% had such difficulties two or three times a week, 13% had difficulties once a week or less often, and 66% had no trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the whole night. Jerusalemites slept better than residents of Haifa, for example, where over a fifth (22%) had trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the whole night, and only slightly more than half (54%) never had such difficulties.

Survey participants who reported having trouble sleeping were asked about the extent to which their sleep problems affected their daily functioning. Of the Jerusalemites with sleep problems, 40% reported that their daily functioning was affected to a large extent or to a very large extent. In comparison, this figure stands at 29% for Haifa residents, 35% for Tel Aviv residents, and 36% for Israel’s residents. 

Source: Analysis of Central Bureau of Statistics data

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ever-Shrinking Earnings

Eitan Bluer

The level of household income provides a basis for various indices that can be used to measure conditions within cities, including poverty level, socio-economic standing of cities, and so on. The level of household income can also explain why in recent years more and more households with at least one wage earner are unable to break out of the cycle of poverty.

In 2010 Jerusalem had about 194,000 households, of which in approximately 60% the head of household was employed. The average net monthly household income in Jerusalem was NIS 10,700. This figure was 23% lower than the average monthly income per household in Israel (NIS 13,900), 28% lower than the average monthly income in Tel Aviv (NIS 14,800), and 24% lower than the average monthly income in Haifa (NIS 14,100). The principal source for the gross monthly income of Jerusalem households whose head of household was employed was earnings from employment (85%). The other sources of income included capital, property, pensions, social security benefits, and so on. Interestingly, social security benefits constituted 8% of all income in those households headed by salaried employees. This percentage was higher than the figure for Israel (6%), Tel Aviv (4%), and Haifa (5%).

The average household size varies significantly among the major cities. It is important, therefore, to measure the level of income per number of individuals in the households (income per standard person). Jerusalem is characterized by households with a high average number of persons (4.3 persons) compared to Tel Aviv (2.5 persons) and Israel (3.7 persons). A weighted assessment of these statistics reveals that in 2010 the average net monthly income in Jerusalem per standard person measured NIS 3,300. This was 30% lower than the average income for Israel (NIS 4,700), 50% lower than the average for Tel Aviv (NIS 6,600), and 42% lower than the average for Haifa (NIS 5,700). 

Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, Income Survey for 2010

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Educational System of Jerusalem

Lior Lehrs

Jerusalem’s educational system reflects the city’s diverse population and comprises three principal sectors: national and national-religious education, which is managed by the Jerusalem Education Administration within the Municipality (JEA); municipal Arab education, which includes official educational institutions and recognized but unofficial institutions that operate according to the educational curriculum of the Palestinian Authority (also managed by the JEA); and ultra-orthodox educational institutions managed by the Haredi educational division within the Municipality.

According to data from the Jerusalem Municipality, in the 2011-2012 academic year the city’s municipal educational system has 224,650 students. Of these, 43% attend Haredi educational institutions, 31% attend municipal Arab educational institutions, and 26% attend national and national-religious institutions. These statistics do not include students receiving a private Arab education, whose total is estimated at approximately 20,000.

Among students in grades 7-12 (middle and high school), a total of 37% receive a Haredi education, 33% receive a municipal Arab education, and 30% receive a state or state-religious education. At the elementary school level, by comparison, the figure for Haredi students is close (38%), slightly higher for Arab students (38%), and lower for national and religious-national students (24%). Among kindergarten children, the percentage receiving a Haredi education is particularly high – 48% – as compared to the figures for municipal Arab education (28%) and national or national-religious (24%). The percentage of Haredi children in kindergarten is especially high because it is affected by the relatively low percentage of Arab children, many of whom do not attend the municipal kindergartens. A separate analysis of students in the national education system reveals that their percentage decreases in accordance with the following age groups: they represent 19% of the city’s high school students, 15% of junior high school students, 12% of elementary school students, and 10% of kindergarten children.

An analysis of trends over the past 10 years (compared to the 2000-2001 academic year) reveals that the most significant change occurred within the municipal Arab educational sector, where the number of students increased by 126%. This change resulted from the Ministry of Education’s increased recognition of private Arab schools in Jerusalem as “recognized but unofficial institutions,” the construction of new classrooms, which increased the capacities of the schools, and natural population growth. During the same period, the number of students receiving a Haredi education increased by 30%, and within the national and national-religious sector there was a 12% decrease.

Source: Analysis of data of the Municipality of Jerusalem