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