Monday, November 11, 2013

“Mixed Cities” in Israel

Dr. Maya Choshen

This time we aim to present a quantitative picture of the Jewish and Arab populations of Jerusalem and other cities in Israel where Jewish and Arab communities reside alongside one another. 

At the end of 2011, Jerusalem had a total population of 804,400, which included 511,400 Jewish residents and 293,000 Arab residents. The Arab population comprised a Muslim majority (96%) and Christian minority. During this year the population of Jerusalem constituted approximately10% of the total population of Israel; the city’s Jewish population constituted about 8% of the total Jewish population of Israel, and its Arab population constituted about 18% of the total Arab population of Israel. 

At the end of 2011, the proportion of the Arab population within the total population of Jerusalem (36%) was higher than its proportion within Israel (21%). We customarily speak of our mixed cities and tend to include Jerusalem in one breath with Haifa and Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Before reading further, think about the number of Jews and the number of Arabs in Haifa and Tel Aviv-Jaffa: What are these numbers, and what is the proportion of Jewish residents and Arab residents within the total population of each city, respectively?

In fact, among the three major cities, Jerusalem had the largest Jewish population, numbering 511,400, compared with 388,100 in Tel Aviv-Jaffa and 242,500 in Haifa. The Arab population of Jerusalem is also the largest: 293,000, compared with 27,800 in Haifa and 16,700 in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

And what is the relative proportion of each population group? The proportion of the Arab population within the total population of Jerusalem (36%) is greater than its proportion within the total population of Israel (21%), Haifa (10%), and Tel Aviv-Jaffa (4%).

And what about the other mixed urban local authorities?

At the end of 2011, a total of 399,200 Arabs resided in eight cities in Israel that had an Arab population of 4% or higher. The Arab population of these cities, termed “mixed cities” for our purposes, constituted 25% of the total Arab population of Israel. As noted, 293,000 of them resided in Jerusalem, constituting 74% of the total number of Arabs residing within the mixed cities of Israel.

At the end of 2011, Lod had a total population of 70,300, which included 19,800 Arab residents (28%). Ramla had a total population of 67,000, with 15,100 Arab residents (22%). Eilat had a total population of 46,700, with 1,900 Arab residents (4%). Acco (Acre) had a total population of 46,500, with 14,000 Arab residents (30%). Nazareth Illit (Upper Nazareth) had a total population of 40,600, with 7,200 Arabs (18%). Ma’alot-Tarshiha had a total population of 21,000, with 4,100 Arab residents (20%).

The above statistics, which are presented in descending order of total population size within mixed cities, indicate that the local authority with the highest percentage of Arab residents is Jerusalem, with 36%, followed by Acco with 30%, then in descending order, Lod with 28% Arab residents, Ramla with 22%, Ma’a lot-Tarshiha with 20%, Nazareth Illit with 18%, Haifa with 10%, and Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Eilat with 4% each. 

Over the years the proportion of the Jewish population within Jerusalem has shown a decline, while simultaneously the proportion of the Arab population has increased. The percentage of Jewish residents in the city decreased from 74% in 1967 to 72% in 1980, to 68% in 2000, and to 64% in 2011. Simultaneously the Arab population increased from 26% in 1967 to 28% in 1980, to 32% in 2000, and to 36% in 2011.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Apartment prices in Israel

Yair Assaf-Shapira

The average price of a four room apartment in Israel is NIS 1.18 Million for a 2nd hand apartment, and NIS 1.26 M for a new one. Data refer to the second quartile of 2013 (April to June), and were compared with the second quartile of 2012. While prices of used four room apartments showed a small descent (-0.6%) over the year, prices of new apartments rose by 1.9%.

The prices represent a combination of supply and demand, which differ from city to city, and between areas in the country. In Jerusalem the prices of used and new apartments are higher (NIS 1.69 M and NIS 1.93 M respectively), and the price trends are opposite than the national ones. The used apartments' price in Jerusalem rose slightly (by 0.4%) compared to the second quartile of 2012, while the new apartments lost 3.6% of their price. Interesting to note that in Tel Aviv the prices of used four room apartments lost 12%, while in the ultra orthodox cities of Modiin Illit and Betar Illit near Jerusalem, they rose by 10%-11%.

Looking at the three room apartments (only used apartments on this market), one can observe that in most localities their prices are on the rise. In Jerusalem they rose by 3.1% during the year (compared to 0.4% in the four room apartments). Dramatic rises were recorded in Bet Shemesh (13%) and Modiin Illit (12%), as well as in various other localities. On average the prices of these apartments rose by 2.6% (compared to -0.6% in the four room market). While no three room apartments are being constructed (mainly because the profit for the entrepreneur is lower on them), it looks like the demand for them is large.

Data source: ministry of construction and housing, department of information and economic analysis

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Summer Heat

Michal Korach

August – Summer camps have just ended, outdoor temperatures are sweltering, leisure and recreation sites are overflowing, and simultaneously Ben-Gurion Airport is filled with throngs of departing passengers. At times it seems that everyone is flying abroad.

It is interesting, therefore, to examine where Israelis chose to spend their summer vacation last year. 

The data indicate that about 562,000 Israelis travelled abroad in August 2012. Yet evidently a greater number of Israelis chose to spend August in Israel: 732,600 Israeli guests registered in hotels within Israel (in cities, kibbutzim, and moshavim; excluding rural hospitality, youth hostels, and field schools). 

Where did they choose to spend their vacation time? Eilat, the city of eternal sunshine, is the preferred destination of Israelis the year round, and especially in August. A total of 236,100 guests stayed at hotels during August, constituting 32% of all hotel guests in Israel for this month. Two additional destinations of choice for Israelis were the Dead Sea (79,300 – 11%) and Tiberias (73,000 – 10%). Apparently, the high temperatures characteristic of these places in general and during August in particular did not deter the multitudes of visitors who swarmed to these sites. It should be noted that Jerusalem also draws many Israelis and that some 69,000 Israeli guests stayed at the city’s hotels (9%).

Israel’s hotels also hosted tourists from abroad during August, but their numbers were significantly lower than the figures for Israelis – 232,000 overseas guests versus 732,600 Israeli guests. The preferences of tourists differ from those of Israelis, though, with Jerusalem being their first choice. A total of 65,200 overseas guests stayed at Jerusalem’s hotels during August, constituting 30% of the total number of overseas guests in Israel’s hotels. The second-most popular destination was Tel Aviv – 57,600 visitors from abroad (26%), and the third was Tiberias – 16,700 visitors from abroad (7%).

Source: Quarterly Statistical Report on Tourism and Hospitality Services, Central Bureau of Statistics

Computer Use in Jerusalem

Yair Assaf-Shapira

In accordance with world trends, computer use in Israel rises every year. In 2011, for example, 72% of the population aged 20 and over in Israel reported using a computer, compared to 58% who reported using one only five years before, in 2006. A similar positive trend was recorded in Jerusalem, although the city lags behind Israel with a substantial gap. Computer use in Jerusalem rose from 51% in 2006, to only 59% in 2011.

Within the Jewish population in Israel, one of the factors that is connected to computer use, is the nature of the religious identity. Computer use rate among the Jewish population in Israel stood at 77% in 2011, but it was lower among ultra-orthodox (58%) and among the religious or traditional-religious (70%), and higher among the secular or non-religious traditional (82%).

In Jerusalem, the three different groups do not show the same trend compared to the country. Use rate among the Jewish population in Jerusalem was lower than in Israel, and stood at 72% in 2011. The datum for the ultra-orthodox use of computer for the same year (63%), though exceptionally high compared to previous years (50% and 46% in 2010 and 2009 respectively), was still the lowest of the three groups, but it was higher than the figure for the ultra-orthodox in Israel (as stated, 58%). The same trend applies also to the religious or traditional-religious in Jerusalem, a higher percentage of whom (74%) reported using the computer compared to Israel. Among the secular or non-religious traditional in Jerusalem the use rate (78%) was the highest of the three groups, but lower than the figure for Israel.

Over recent years, it looks like all religious groups' computer use is growing, but while two of them show similar figures in Jerusalem and in Israel, the third keeps a steady advantage of Jerusalemites over the rest of the country. These are the religious or traditional-religious in Jerusalem, having a computer use rate higher than that of their likes in Israel by 8%-12% over the last five years (see diagram in which bi-annual averages are used to decrease inaccuracies).

Data Source: the social survey by the central bureau of statistics for appropriate years.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tu b'Av

Yael Israeli

This month we celebrate the 15th of Av (Tu b'Av), known in Israel today as "the holiday of love". This festival, mentioned already in the Mishna and Talmud, is traditionally the day when the women of Israel went seeking for a partner. Today in Israel it has become a Hebrew version of Valentine's day.

In 2010, 444,500 men and women aged 20 and up lived in Jerusalem. Most 20+ year old Jerusalemites (63%) are married, 23% are unmarried, and only 8% are divorced. The percentage of single men in the city stands at 27%, and is higher than the percentage of single women, at 20%. The widowed women's percentage, however, is much higher (9%) than that the number of widowed men (2%). 

Marital status changes with age. Between the ages of 20-24 there is a high percentage of singles (66%), and an acute difference between men and women. 78% of the men between these ages are single, compared to only 55% of the women. As age increases, the number of married people rises, and differences between men and women shrink. Between 30-34, only 24% of  men, and 20% of women are still single. Israel shows a picture close to that of Jerusalem, with 23% of 20+ year olds unmarried, 62% married, and 8% divorced. Among 20-24 year olds in Israel, there is a higher percentage (80%) of unmarried people.

In Tel Aviv, however, things are quite different. In 2010, 319,300 people aged 20+ lived in the city, comprising almost 80% of its population. 50% of these 20+ year olds were not married (37% single, 11% divorced, and 7% widowed). Among the age group of 20-24 the percentage of singles is very high: 92% (87% among women and 96% among men). Among 30-34 year olds the percentage of singles was also high, standing at 50%.

The average marriage age in Israel is rising from year to year. In 1970 the average marriage age of Jewish women was 21.8 while in 2010 it rose to 25.7. The average for men did not increase drastically throughout these years and went up from 25 to 27.8.

The average gap between a Jewish bride and groom was 2.1 years, in comparison to 5 years in all other religions.

So, what is better – being married or single or divorced? Are married people really more satisfied than others?

95% of married residents in Jerusalem noted they are satisfied with their lives compared with only 78% of the divorced and 89% of the singles. In contrast, in Tel-Aviv a similar percentage of married and single residents noted that they are satisfied with their lives, but married people are a slightly more satisfied (88% and 85% respectively). In Israel, It seems the situation is pretty much the same – the married ones are most satisfied, followed by the singles and lastly the divorced (91%, 88% and 73% respectively).

Global research has proven that marriage increases satisfaction in life, so go ahead, take advantage of this Tu b'Av and find yourself a partner, preferably in Jerusalem!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Buying apartments in Israel: who, where, and how much?

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Data released recently by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry for Construction and housing, show that in Israel, apartment purchases by foreign residents summed up to 2.8% of all apartment purchases during the period June 2012 to February 2013. Other populations purchasing apartments were "residence improvers", buying an apartment which is not their first, but selling their previous one (37%); first apartment buyers (36%); real estate investors (21%); and others (2%).

But in some localities, foreign residents' purchases proportion was much higher than the national average. The top destinations in Israel for foreign residents seeking apartment purchases were Tel-Aviv, where they were responsible for 7.6% of the purchases, Netanya (7.8%), and, much higher, Jerusalem (12.8%). Noticeable in Jerusalem's vicinity was Bet-Shemesh, where 6.1% of the purchases were made by foreign residents.

Data allows us to drill down and look at neighborhoods within the city. Neighborhoods in Jerusalem that saw extensive purchase activity for 2nd hand apartments were Rechavia (38% of the purchases), Sanhedria (26%) and Romema (23%). For 1st hand apartments it was Sanhedria (77%), Romama (56%), and Bayit Vagan (53%). 

It has been said that foreign residents purchases raise the prices, and indeed according to the data it appears that foreign residents do not usually buy cheap apartments. On average, they paid 1.99 million shekels for an apartment in Israel, compared to 1.35 paid by residence improvers, 1.11 by investors, and 1.02 by first apartment buyers - almost half the sum paid by foreign residents. The prices paid by foreign residents in Jerusalem were higher, and stood at an average of 2.44 million, second in Israel to Zikhron Ya'akov (2.49) and Tel-Aviv, where they paid 3.23 million per apartment. Other populations who purchased an apartment in Jerusalem also paid more than the national average, but not extremely higher.

Data sources:

· Ministry of Construction and Housing, Department of Information and Economic Analysis

· Ministry of Finance, State Revenue Division

The Hebrew U

Inbal Doron

The Hebrew University in Jerusalem is the third largest university in Israel today, after the universities of Tel Aviv and Bar-Ilan. In 2011 a total of 20,400 students were enrolled in the Hebrew University, which for several years has had the largest number of students in the country pursuing advanced degrees, including doctorates. In 2011, a total of 2,540 were pursuing doctoral degrees in Jerusalem, constituting 24% of the total for Israel. The number of students in higher education institutions in Israel rises each year, especially for advanced degrees. In the last decade (2001-2011) there has been an increase of 23% in the number of students pursuing a master’s degree, and 50% in the number studying towards a doctorate. 

At the same time, there has been a decline in recent years in the ratio of Hebrew University students to the total number of students in Israel. Two decades ago (1991), about a quarter of the total number of students in Israel were enrolled at the Hebrew University, compared to only 16% in 2011. The key explanation for this trend lies in the privatization of higher education in Israel that took place during the early 1990s and in the opening of a large number of academic colleges that compete with universities. Another explanation lies in the transformations that have occurred in the most sought-after fields today, as compared with past years.

Out of a total of 251,800 students in 2011, about half studied in universities and half in academic colleges and teacher-training colleges. Today a total of 35 academic colleges and 23 teacher-training colleges operate in Israel. Among other things, the colleges offer a wide range of degrees in areas such as design, music, or technology. In Jerusalem today there are seven academic colleges and five teacher-training colleges, at which in 2011 a total of 16,000 students were enrolled, constituting 44% of the total number of students in the city that year.

A review of students’ chosen fields over time in Israel reflects the change that has taken place in recent decades. In 2011, bachelor’s degree students in Israel’s universities pursued the following fields of study: social sciences (31%), engineering and architecture (20%) humanities (19%), natural sciences (15%), medicine (10%), law (4%), and agriculture (1%). The most significant decline was in the humanities. Until the late 1990s this had been the leading field of study, attracting about a third of bachelor’s degree students on average. The fields in which a significant increase occurred were medicine and healthcare, engineering, and architecture. The percentage of medical students today is double that of 1980, and in engineering and architecture one can see a steady increase in the number of students over the past decades. 

These changes in chosen fields of study, and primarily the decrease in interest in the humanities as well as the lack of an engineering faculty have been contributing factors in the decline in percentage of students at the Hebrew University out of the total number of students in Israel’s universities. The salient fields of study at the Hebrew University compared to others in Israel are medicine and healthcare. A total of 28% of the country’s bachelor’s degree medical and healthcare students are enrolled at the Hebrew University. These figures are 26% for law and 19% for the natural sciences. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Israeli Tourist Discovers Jerusalem

Omri Gaster

In recent years the Municipality of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Development Authority have put much effort into transforming Jerusalem into an attractive tourist destination for foreign and Israeli tourists through, among other ways, a wide variety of festivals and cultural events. Do such efforts bear fruit? The answer to this question is customarily based on the number of overnight hotel stays. When it comes to the Israeli tourist, the outcome appears to be affirmative in all respects. 

The attached graph shows the change that took place in the number of overnight hotel stays of Israeli tourists in Jerusalem by month for the years 2008, 2010, and 2012. It appears that the peak months for internal tourism are July-August, with August having the highest number of overnight hotel stays by Israelis for each of the three years. 

Between 2008 and 2012 there was a 97% increase in the number of overnight stays of Israelis during the month of August: in 2008 this figure was 70,000 and in 2012 it reached 138,000.

Additional months during which an increase in the number of overnight stays is apparent are November and December. Between the years 2008 and 2012 there was a 44% increase in the number of overnight stays by Israelis during December: in 2008 the number of Israeli overnight stays was about 51,000 and in 2012 this figure was 74,000 overnight stays.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Socio-Economic Status

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Recently, the central bureau of statistics released data about the socio-economic characterization of localities and neighborhoods. The socio-economic index is a complex indicator, made of 16 different variables, covering the subjects of demography; education; employment; and standard of living. These 16 variables were combined into a single index, and all localities in Israel were classified into one of ten clusters, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest socio-economic status. Areas within localities, which are referred to as "statistical areas", and are actually neighborhoods or parts of neighborhoods, are naturally much more diverse, and were therefore classified into 20 clusters. The data was processed from the population census of 2008

Jerusalem was classified in cluster 4 (out of 10) - lower than the other large cities (200,000 residents and over), namely Tel-Aviv (classified in cluster 8), Haifa (7), Rishon Lezion and Petach Tiquva (6), and Ashdod (5). One of the factors causing the lower classification for Jerusalem is the large Arab and ultra orthodox Jewish populations residing in it, largely characterized by lower socio-economic status. 

But since clusters have been calculated not only for whole cities, but also for areas within them, we can look at the distribution of the population within the city. The figures look quite cheerless for Jerusalem, with 51% of the population residing in low socio-economic areas (clusters 1-5 out of 20). The figure is much higher than for Israel, where it stands at 23%, Haifa (2%), and Tel Aviv (at 1%). The high status population (clusters 16-20) comprises about 4% of Jerusalem's population, considerably lower than Israel (9%), and much lower than Haifa (28%) and Tel Aviv (37%), which seem to attract high status population. Rishon Lezion and Ashdod stand lower than Jerusalem, at 0%.

The complete data is published in The Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, at

Data source: Characterization and Classification of Geographical Units by the Socio-Economic Level of the Population 2008, Central Bureau of Statistics, April 2013

Intra city Migration

Yair Assaf-Shapira

On the occasion of Jerusalem Day, celebrated this week, we look at figures from the new Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, published annually by the institute. The figures of intra-city migration, or migration from place to place within Jerusalem, are often good indicators for the appeal of neighborhoods to incoming Jerusalemite migrants, and also indicate which neighborhoods are experiencing negative in-city migration.

When we look at the map, showing only in-city migration balance (for 2011), we see a few trends. First of all, we can see the negative migration from the city center, and its adjacent neighborhoods. The city center as a whole was left by 870 of its residents in 2011, of which 500 left to other places in Jerusalem, and the rest left the city. Incoming migrants to the same area were 710 people, of which 400 came from within Jerusalem, resulting in an overall negative balance of -160, and an intra-city balance of -100. Using the same method we find that Romema has a negative intra-city balance of -200, and Har Nof of -180. Outer neighborhoods are characterized by inter-city migration flows, so for example compared to an inter-city balance of -930 and -650 for Ramot Alon and pisgat Zeev (accordingly), their intra-city balances of +60 and +70 (accordingly) are negligible. This means that these neighborhoods, being far from the centers of activity, have a weaker connection to the city. Migration from Ramot to Modiin is a smaller decision than migrating from Rehavia to it.

Positive intra-city migration can be identified for Har Homa , although not as high as previous years, standing at +208 in 2011. The Katamonim (A-I), being in a gentrification process, also saw positive intra city balance of +120, with 1370 out migrants, and 1490 incoming. Other neighborhoods with meaningful positive intra-city balance were Beit Hakerem, Geula, Ramat-Sharet, and Talpiot.

In the Arab sector, the strongest trend is out-migration from the old city, and mainly from the Muslim quarter, which had an intra-city balance of -1243. Apparently these migrants moved mainly North - to Kfar Aqeb, Beit Hanina, and Shuafat. 

The data in their entirety appear on The Yearbook, and all are invited to use it.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Let There Be Light

Yael Israeli

All of us consume large amounts of electricity, and it is hard for us to imagine life without it. Electricity consumption is one of the indicators of a country’s level of development: as the years pass and we become more modernized and developed, we also consume more electricity. One might expect that increased electricity consumption would correspond with an increase in population size, but this is not in fact the case. In 1967 the average per capita consumption of electricity in Israel was 1,429 kilowatt-hours (kWh); in 2000 it reached 5,559 kWh, and in 2011 – 6,232 kWh. Wealth also plays a part in our consumption of electricity: the richer we are, the more electricity we use. On average, the top tenth percentile consumes more than 10 times the amount of electricity that the bottom percentile consumes (1,679 kWh versus 133.9 kWh). 

Does electricity consumption also vary by location within Israel? During 2011, those of us in Jerusalem consumed 4.9976 billion kWh, an increase of 5.4% over the previous year. Israel as a whole also recorded an increase in consumption (2.1%), although Tel Aviv actually recorded a decrease of 1.3% between the years 2010 and 2011. If we examine only household consumption, we find that the average amount of household electricity consumption per consumer during 2011 is relatively comparable for Jerusalem (6,398 kWh), Tel Aviv (6,304 kWh), Haifa (6,184 kWh), and Be’er Sheva (6,296 kWh), and each of these figures is below the national average, yet consumption has still increased relative to previous years. Compared to other countries around the world, overall per capita electricity consumption in Israel in 2009 was nearly identical to that of Germany, the Netherlands, and Demark, whereas it was much higher than the figure for Turkey or Romania and much lower than the figure for Norway or Finland. 

So where do we go from here? We can view increased electricity consumption as evidence of a higher standard of living and therefore as a positive trend, but we must not forget that electricity production entails substantial air pollution. On average, Israel’s power plants are responsible for about 50% of the total amount of air pollution emissions. Natural gas, which provides an alternative source of energy production, is less polluting but its use is not sufficiently widespread in Israel. In 2011, only 32% of the electricity produced in Israel came from gas, while about 62% was still produced using coal. Nonetheless, this is a significant improvement over past years, and the percentage of electricity produced by gas is only increasing (in 2003 it was 0%!). Government reforms are also likely to help reduce consumption and pollution in the coming years. 

Perhaps through progress and technological improvements we will succeed not only in increasing our electricity consumption but also in reducing it through innovation and efficient use on all our parts. 

Source of data: 2011 Statistical Report of the Electric Company, 2011 Environmental Report of the Electric Company.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Doctor in the house

Lior Lehrs 

Students enrolled in higher education in Israel follow one of four tracks: studies towards a certificate or diploma, bachelor’s degree studies, master’s degree studies, or studies towards a doctorate (PhD). Students pursuing a doctorate (doctoral students) write a doctoral thesis, upon conclusion of which they receive the title of “doctor.” 

During the 2011-2012 academic year there were 10,600 doctoral students in Israel, constituting 4.1% of the population of students in the country for this year. Across the years one can see an increase in the number of doctoral students in Israel: in 2011-2012 they numbered 1.6 times more than they had in 1999-2000, and 2.8 times more than in 1989-1990. At the same time, however, the data indicate that the percentage of doctoral students among all students has remained relatively consistent over the years, at 4-5%. 

In terms of gender, the ratio of women among doctoral students during 2011-2012 was 52%. This figure is lower than the percentage of women among master’s degree students (60%) or bachelor’s degree students (56%) for the same year. We observe a significant increase over the years in the percentage of women among doctoral candidates in Israel – from 31% during the 1980s to 39% during the 1990s and 50% during the first decade of the 2000s. 

The distribution of students by university indicates that the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has the largest number of doctoral students. Data for 2009-2010 indicate that 25% of doctoral students were enrolled at the Hebrew University, 20% at Tel Aviv University, 17% at Bar-Ilan University, 11% at Ben-Gurion University, 10% at Haifa University, and the remainder at the Technion and Weizmann Institute of Science. At the same time, the data also indicate a decrease in the ratio of Hebrew University students among doctoral degree recipients compared to previous decades – from 37% in the 1980s to 30% during the 1990s and 25% the following decade. 

The most popular field of study among doctoral students in Israel (during 2011-2012) was the natural sciences and mathematics (38% of students), followed by the humanities (25%) and social sciences (14%). Among doctoral students at the Hebrew University (according to 2009-2010 data), the most popular fields of study were the biological sciences (24%), social sciences (13%), agriculture (11%), and physical sciences (11%). 

Source: Analysis of data from the Central Bureau of Statistics

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The High Cost of Housing

Eitan Bluer 

One of the most significant expenditures per household in Israel’s major cities is the expense of housing. The average Jerusalem household spent about NIS 3,650 monthly on housing in 2011; this amount constituted about 28% of all household expenses. The percentage of expenditures that went towards housing in Jerusalem was higher than the average for Israel (where 25% of total household expenditures was spent on housing) and Haifa (22%), but lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (31%). In recent years there has been a steady increase in household expenditures for housing. In the last five years, housing costs for Jerusalem households increased by 44%, from an average cost of NIS 2,537 per month in 2006 to NIS 3,648 per month in 2011. The rate of increase in Jerusalem (44%) was lower than the figure for Israel – where housing expenditures rose by 47% during the same period – and higher than the figure for Tel Aviv (41%) and Haifa (36%). 

The supply of apartments, as well as their size and number of rooms, also affects the expense of housing for renters. In 2011 the average monthly expense for renting an apartment in Jerusalem was NIS 2,613 for a 2.9-room apartment. That is, the average cost per room was NIS 901 per month. This price is higher than the average for Israel (NIS 837 per room), Haifa (NIS 626), and Be’er Sheva (NIS 380) but lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (NIS 1,420), Ramat Gan (NIS 1,120), and Rishon LeZion (NIS 985). 

An examination of the average cost per room as valued for homeowners’ apartments reveals the discrepancy in pricing between cities in the center of the country and in the periphery. The average value of an apartment in Jerusalem for the homeowner in 2011 was NIS 1,727,000 for an apartment with an average of 3.9 rooms (NIS 442,820 per room). The cost per average room in Jerusalem was higher than the figure for Israel (NIS 345,365 per room), Haifa (NIS 293,846), Be’er Sheva (NIS 205,609), and Rishon LeZion (NIS 379, 047), yet lower than the figure for Ramat Gan (NIS 532,571) and Tel Aviv (NIS 647,297). 

Source: Press Release for 2011 Survey of Expenses, Central Bureau of Statistics 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

TV viewing rates

Aviel Yelinek 

Israelis are watching more and more television. During 2011 the average Israeli watched more than 232 minutes of television daily, an increase of 3% since last year and 33% since 2001. Among Israeli households, 89% had a television (75% in Jerusalem), and 53% of households had two or more televisions (28% in Jerusalem). Data for 2011 indicate that Jerusalem residents watched less television than did residents of Tel Aviv or Haifa. Of Jerusalemites surveyed, 41% stated that they do not watch television at all or do not watch regularly, compared with 8% of Tel Aviv residents and 9% of Haifa residents. Forty percent of Jerusalemites reported that they watch up to two hours daily (compared with 58% in Tel Aviv and 53% in Haifa), and 19% of Jerusalemites stated that they watched over two hours daily (compared with 33% in Tel Aviv and 39% in Haifa). Among Jerusalem households, 35% had cable or satellite television subscriptions, which is lower than the figure for Israel (62%), Tel Aviv (66%), and Haifa (70%). 

The extent of television watched varies by age group. In general, lower ages watch less television per day, and as the age rises television watching increases. For example, 18% of those aged 20-34 years reported that they do not watch television at all, compared with 13% of ages 35-49 and 10% of ages 50-64 and up. The age group 64 and up had the highest percentage of those who reported watching over two hours daily, at 56%, compared with 35% of 50-64-year olds, 30% of 35-49-year olds, and 31% of 20-34-year olds. The extent of television watching also varies in accordance with degree of religious observance. Among Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox), 88% stated that they do not watch television at all, compared with 13% of those who are observant or traditional, and 4% of the secular population. The data indicate that the secular watch more television – 35% watched over two hours daily, compared with 28% of the observant or traditional population and only 1% of the Haredim. 

Sources: Analysis of data of the 2011 Social Survey , Data of the Israel Audience Research Board

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Housing Stage

Yair Assaf-Shapira

In 2011 construction was completed on 1,360 housing units in Jerusalem, A construction completion always marks the end of a long, multi-stage process that includes construction entrepreneuring, developing a detailed plan and securing its authorization, acquiring a permit and initiating the construction, and the construction process itself. Given the length of time between the start of a construction enterprise and its completion, all stages of the process should be examined; a change in policy today might have a long-term effect on the number of housing units.

During the same year construction was initiated on 2,160 housing units, exceeding the number of housing units that were completed. This figure could conceivably indicate that the number of housing units to be completed in the future is expected to increase, but a review of past trends in fact reveals that during every year since 2005 the number of housing units initiated has exceeded the number completed (except in 2008). In all, since 2005 construction of 14,950 housing units was initiated in Jerusalem, but the number of units completed, including units initiated before 2005, was only 12,960. The difference (1,990 housing units) results from suspension or extension of some construction projects. This gap is not unique to Jerusalem. In Israel as a whole it stood at 24,430 housing units since 2005. In all Administrative districts, excluding the District of Judea and Samaria, the number of housing units initiated was larger than the number of units completed.

Before construction begins there is the planning stage, which can entail long periods of waiting for approval of the plan. In 2011 in Jerusalem plans were approved for 4, 765 housing units. Presumably not all of these planned units will be actualized, and the percentage implemented will be significantly lower than that of units whose construction is underway.

By comparison on a national level, Jerusalem’s portion of all completed housing units in Israel is 4%, and the city’s portion of housing units initiated in Israel is 5%, yet the housing units approved in Jerusalem in 2011 represent 16% of the total number of approved units for Israel. 

Data sources: Construction Data – Central Bureau of Statistics, Planning Yearbook – Planning Authority, Ministry of Interior Affairs 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How Do Jerusalemites Spend Their Money?

Aviel Yelinek 

The Central Bureau of Statistics recently published new data regarding the breakdown of monthly expenditures of households in Israel’s cities. The breakdown of monthly expenditures is one of the indices used in assessing the socio-economic standing of cities’ residents.

In 2011 the average expenditure for household consumption in Jerusalem stood at NIS 13,100 per month, which was lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (15,400) and Rishon LeZion (14,900) but higher than the figure for Haifa (12,100) and Ashdod (12,500). But these figures do not give the full picture. An average Jerusalem household comprises 3.9 persons, which is the highest number among the major cities. A more accurate picture therefore requires us to examine the total average expenditure per person. Accordingly, the statistics put Jerusalem in the last place among the major cities – the average expenditure per person in Jerusalem stood at NIS 3,300, which was lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (NIS 6,800), Haifa (NIS 5,100), Rishon LeZion (NIS 4,800), and Ashdod (NIS 3,700).

The greatest expenditure of Jerusalem’s households, like that of the households in most of Israel’s major cities, is housing. Jerusalem’s residents expended some NIS 3,650 monthly on housing, and this figure constituted 28% of their total monthly expenditures. Other major expenditures included food (16%), transportation and communication (16%), education, culture, and entertainment (13%), and maintenance of the home and household (10%). Haifa residents were the exception in this context, as they expended more on transportation and communication (23%) than on housing (22%).

The amount of expenditures on food is relatively consistent across the major cities, but there are differences in taste. For example, in 2010 the average Jerusalem household expended about NIS 340 per month on bread, grains, and bread products, as compared to NIS 230 in Tel Aviv and NIS 240 in Haifa. The average Jerusalem household expended about NIS 400 per month on meat and poultry, as compared to only NIS 225 in Tel Aviv and Haifa. In contrast, the average monthly expenditure of Jerusalem households for meals outside the home stood at NIS 240, significantly lower than the figure for Tel Aviv (NIS 690) and Haifa (NIS 330). 

Source: Analysis of data from the Central Bureau of Statistics

Thursday, January 24, 2013

“All the News That’s Fit to Print”

Lior Lehrs

The printed media throughout the world and in Israel is in a state of crisis these days as a result of developments taking place in the field of communications and on the Internet. At the same time, some argue that it would be premature to eulogize the printed media and that it is still popular and capable of accommodating itself to a changing reality.

According to data of the Central Bureau of Statistics for 2011, 78% of Jerusalemites (age 20 and above) reported that they had read newspapers, magazines, or journals during the previous year. This figure is lower than the national average (84%) or the figures for Tel Aviv (87%), Haifa (88%), and Rishon LeZion (88%). Among Jerusalemites who had read newspapers, 66% reported that they had read newspapers in Hebrew, 26% in Arabic, 4% in Russian and 4% in English. Interesting to point out that the figure of Russian readers in Jerusalem is lower than the national average (9%) but the figure of the English readers is higher than the national average (1%).

What types of articles do Jerusalemites tend to read? Sixty percent of Jerusalemites who had read newspapers responded that they tend to read articles about news, politics, and current affairs. This figure is lower than the national average (66%) or the figures for Tel Aviv (72%), Haifa (73%), and Rishon LeZion (68%). Among Jerusalem’s newspaper readers, 25% reported that they read articles about economics. This figure is also lower than the national average (30%) or the figures for Tel Aviv (44%), Haifa (37%), and Rishon LeZion (36%). In contrast, the percentage of Jerusalem’s newspaper readers who habitually read articles about the Torah, Judaism, and religion (23%) is higher than the national average (12%) or the figures for Tel Aviv (6%) and Haifa (5%). Moreover, among Jerusalem’s newspaper readers, 25% reported that they read articles about physical and mental health, 15% reported reading articles about sports, and only 4% said that habitually read the gossip columns.

Interestingly, according to data of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the percentage of Palestinians in the Jerusalem district (age 10 and above) who reported that they read newspapers (45%) is higher than the figure for the West Bank (39%) or the Gaza Strip (19%). PCBS data also indicates that the percentage of newspaper readers among Palestinian women in the Jerusalem District (47%) is higher than the percentage among Palestinian men in this district (43%). 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Inter-Generational Education

Eitan Bluer

It is often said that the dream of every Jewish mother is for her children to acquire an education. Yet as it turns out, parental expectations regarding higher education vary, depending on the parents’ own level of education. Evidently, the higher the parents’ level of education, the greater their expectation that their own children will acquire a higher education. In 2011 about 68% of Jerusalem’s parents age 20 and above who had up to 12 years of education (no high school diploma) indicated that they expect their children to earn an academic or other tertiary (post-secondary) degree from an accredited institution. This figure was 75% among parents with a high school diploma, and 80% among parents with a tertiary education. Within Israel as a whole the figures were higher. About 77% of parents with fewer than 12 years of education (no high school diploma) indicated that they expect their children to earn an academic or other tertiary degree. The figures were comparable for parents with a high school diploma (84%) and parents with a tertiary education (85%).

And what about fulfilling the expectations? We would expect to see a positive correlation between the mothers’ and children’s levels of education as well as educational mobility. In 2011, approximately 64% of all Jerusalemites age 20 and above indicated that their mother’s education did not exceed 12 years. In contrast, 25% indicated that their mother had a tertiary education. Among children whose mothers have twelve or fewer years of education, 29% reported having a tertiary education. Among children whose mothers have a tertiary education, this figure stood at 51%.

Regarding educational mobility, it appears that the percentage of children whose level of education exceeds that of their parents is lower for Jerusalem than for Israel. In Jerusalem, 58% of children whose mothers have a secondary education indicated that their own level of education exceeds that of their mothers, whereas for Israel this figure stood at 65%. 

Source: 2011 social survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics