Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Work Force

Alon Kupererd
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

The term “work force” describes the persons in the population, aged 15 and over, who are employed or unemployed and seeking employment. At the end of 2014, 69% of Israeli Jews aged 15 and over participated in the work force, meaning they were employed or seeking employment, in comparison to 47% among the Arab population. The rate of unemployed persons among Jews in Israel was 6% of the work force, and 8% among Arabs. 
In Jerusalem the rate of participation of Jews in the work force was 59% - lower than the average for Israel. Similarly among Arabs, the rate of participation in the work force in Jerusalem was comparatively low, at 40%.
When analyzing the data by gender we see that among Jewish men the rate of participation in the work force in Israel was 72%, while in Jerusalem the rate was only 57%.  
Among Arabs, the rate of participation of men in the work force in Israel was 66%, a bit lower than the rate in Jerusalem which was 68%.
The rate of unemployed persons is similar for the Jewish and Arab sectors and for the Israeli average and Jerusalem average, standing at 7%. 
In Israel, 66% of Jewish women participated in the work force in 2014, in comparison to 61% of the Jewish women in Jerusalem. 6% of the Jewish women in the work force in Israel were unemployed, while in Jerusalem the percentage of unemployed women was 8%.
The rate of participation of Arab women in the work force in Israel at large, at 28%, was much lower than that of Jewish women. In Jerusalem the rate of participation of Arab women in the work force was 13%, which is lower by over half in comparison to the Israeli average.
90% of Arab women in the work force in Israel were employed, meaning that among Arab women in Israel, there was an unemployment rate of 10%. In Jerusalem 85% of Arab women in the work force were employed, equaling an unemployment rate of 15% among the work force.
This data regarding participation of Arab women in the work force in Jerusalem is especially interesting due to the fact that it shows us that even when an Arab woman decides she would like to be employed, her chances of finding a job are lower than the chances of an Arab woman in Israel. 
In regards to impact of the level of education on work force participation, it is noticeable that among Arab women in Jerusalem, the rate of participation in the work force was higher among women with a higher level of education. 8% of women with secondary school education participated in the work force. 2% of all Arab women living in Jerusalem have attained a Master's degree - 66% of them are in the work force.
This is true also considering Arab women in Israel at large – 28% of women with secondary school education participated in the work force, compared with 88% of women with Master’s degrees.
This effect of education on the motivation to participate in the work force also exists to some extent among women in the Jewish sector, but is much more significant among Arab women. 

Sources: Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem 2016 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Comings and Goings

Yair Assaf-Shapira
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

In 2014 a total of 10,350 people moved to Jerusalem from other localities in Israel. In the same year 17,090 men, women, and children left Jerusalem. Jerusalem is Israel’s most populous city, yet in terms of incoming as well as outgoing residents – or in-migrants and out-migrants in the professional jargon – it is second to Tel Aviv. A total of 20,520 people moved to Tel Aviv, and 21,450 left. In other words, 4.8% of Tel Aviv’s population as of the close of 2014 were newly arrived residents and 5.1% of its residents at the start of 2014 left the city during the course of the year. In Jerusalem 1.3% of the population were in-migrants, and 2.1% were out-migrants. Adjusting the data to the Jewish population, given that migration among the Arab population is minimal and largely unreported, the figures stand at 1.9% and 3.3%, respectively.
High rates of in-migration and out-migration reflect a high population turnover in a city. Often this results from a city being located at the center of a metropolis or adjacent to it. In Givatayim, for example, the rates of in-migration and out-migration are 6.4% and 6.5%, respectively, and among Israel’s cities with a population of more than 20,000 residents, it is second only to Eilat (6.8% and 7.4%). Haifa, too, has higher rates than Jerusalem, at 2.8% and 3.2%. The higher the rates, the faster the population turnover of a city: it might serve as a “transfer station” where new residents, such as university students, leave the city after a certain period, or it might be that new residents take the place of other population groups that have moved away. Another possibility is an influx of newcomers moving into newly built housing – a situation that draws many new residents with no parallel outflow.
A city’s migration balance – the difference between in-migration and out-migration – can tell us whether population turnover or newly built housing is behind the change. The highest migration balance in relation to the population (among cities with a population of more than 20,000) was recorded in Yavne, at 6.7%, indicating the net addition of newly arrived residents minus out-migrants, as a percentage of the population. That number is exceptionally high, and it is followed by Pardes Hannah and Hod HaSharon (1.8%) and Kiyat Ono (1.7%). These localities are characterized by widespread construction, usually on the same scale as their migration balance in terms of number of apartments.
Large negative migration balances in relation to the population size were recorded in Mevasseret Zion (-2.7%) and Safed (-2.3%). Jerusalem had a negative migration balance in 2014, at -0.8%. The figures for Tel Aviv and Haifa that year were -0.2% and -0.4%, respectively.

Translation: Merav Datan

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Non-Accidental Tourist

Omer Yaniv
Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research

Jerusalem is considered the most popular city in Israel for visitors from abroad, serving as a tourist destination with important religious and historical significance. The city has religious value for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, as well as an enormous variety of evidence and relics from different historical eras. According to data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2015 about 3.1 million tourists and day-visitors entered Israel. A survey on incoming tourism conducted by the Ministry of Tourism found that 75% of the visitors to Israel during that year traveled to Jerusalem – the highest percentage among Israel’s cities.
The Old City of Jerusalem is regarded as the primary attraction for tourists from abroad, and most of the city’s popular tourist sites are located within or around the Old City. Among the main tourist sites, the Western Wall had the highest percentage of foreign tourists in 2015, at 70%. The Jewish Quarter was in second place, at 65%. Other popular tourist sites in Jerusalem include the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (49% of foreign visitors to Israel), Via Delarosa (41%), and the Mount of Olives overlook (39%). Many visitors come to these sites for religious reasons, as they are holy to Christianity and Judaism (in 2015 only 7% of Israel’s tourists from abroad visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is holy to Muslims). The geographical proximity of Jerusalem’s main tourist sites boosts their popularity because it allows visitors to cover the Old City and surrounding sites within a few hours.
Examining the percentage of visitors at tourist sites by country reveals that for most countries, the Western Wall and the Jewish Quarter had the highest percentages of visitors. Overall, according to the Ministry of Tourism survey on incoming tourism, the percentage of European visitors to these sites is lower than the percentage of visitors from other continents. The survey found that in 2015, 96% of visitors from South and Central America traveled to Jerusalem, as did 91% of visitors from African countries, 89% of visitors from North America, and 79% of visitors from Asia. In contrast, only 69% of visitors from European countries traveled to Jerusalem in 2015.

Translation: Merav Datan

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Mobile Reception

Lior Regev
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Lately, with the increased use of smart phones, the cellular device is playing a growing part in our lives. Our dependency on cell phones has sky rocketed, with its diversity of uses. Hananel Rosenberg, from the Institute for the Study of New Media, Politics and Society at Ariel University, mentions some of them, including news, entertainment, games, calendar, documents, transit times, navigation, social networks, and of course – talking.

Ownership rate of cell phones in Israel is high by any standard. According to the Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem 2016 (table VI/4), 91% of households in Israel had at least one mobile phone in 2014. The data for the large cities are slightly higher with 93%, 96% and 98% in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv, respectively. Data do not exist specifically regarding smart phones, but estimations of ownership rate vary between 64% and 72%.
One situation that some of us may recall, perhaps from army service, is the search for an area with good cellular reception. Lack of reception is common in far away areas, but it might also be encountered in a central area, and even in the middle of town. The common desire for good cellular coverage comes with ambivalence, as the radiation from antennas and devices is a major health concern, mainly with children.
According to the Ministry for Environmental Protection, as of January 2016, active broadcasting cellular antennas in Israel numbered 8,696. Among the large cities, Tel Aviv had the widest coverage, supplied by 939 antennas. Jerusalem, with a much larger land area, had 673; Haifa had 391; and Rishon LeZion had 228. It may be assumed that the concentration of businesses and economic strength of Tel Aviv led to the good cellular coverage.
The break down according to cellular companies, or carriers, reveals that the three major companies—Partner, Pelephone, and Cellcom—had similar shares of the antennas infrastructure: 29%, 28%, and 27%, respectively. Hot Mobile held 15% of the antennas, and Golan Telecom had one percent, almost only in Tel Aviv.
The distribution is somewhat similar in the large cities: In Jerusalem Cellcom holds the largest share of 29% of active antennas, with Partner and Pelephone holding 28% and 26% respectively; in Tel Aviv and Haifa, Partner holds a bit of a wider share, with 32% and 31% respectively; Cellcom and Pelephone hold 28% and 25% of Haifa's antennas, respectively, and both companies each hold 24% of Tel Aviv's antennas.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Households and Religiosity

Yair Assaf-Shapira
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Every year, on the occasion of "Jerusalem Day", the Jerusalem Institute publishes the annual Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem. The yearbook is the main data source on the city, and as such, it's used regularly by the writers of this column.
We tend to thoroughly examine population (persons) data, but today I want to look at household (HH) data. When trying to estimate demand for housing as well as for other services, HH data is sometimes more important than persons data.
There are 2.3 million HHs in Israel, and 210,100 of them live in Jerusalem. Jerusalem's share of HHs in Israel is lower than its share of population (8.8% compared with 10%), due to the relatively large HH size in the capital (3.9 persons compared with 3.3 in Israel). The balance between the Jewish and Arab HHs is also different than the populations balance, and the Jewish HHs form 71% of the total HHs, compared with 63% of the population.
Household size in Jerusalem may be large on average, but still, 38% of the HHs are of one or two persons only. These HHs include Jerusalem's many students and other young adults. Among the Jewish HHs this figure rises to 47%, or almost half of the HHs, slightly higher even than the figure for the Jewish HHs in Israel (46%). With such a high percentage of small HHs, it may be asked how come the average HH size in the city is larger than in Israel. The answer lies in the high percentage of HHs sized 7 persons and above in Jerusalem (15%, compared with 5.9% in Israel).
As of this yearbook, thanks to changes in the Labor Force Survey held by the Central Bureau of Statistics, data is available about the breakdown of the HHs by religious affiliation. Among the Jewish HHs, the secular and traditional HHs form 45%, the "very religious" and Ultra-orthodox form 33%, and the observant (religious) HHs, 22%. Among the Arab HHs, traditional and secular HHs form 64% (the majority of whom stated they were traditional), and observant (together with a very small percentage of "very religious") HHs, form 36%.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Jerusalem Files

Dafna Shemer
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

In 2014 a total of 33,400 investigation files were opened in Jerusalem, 43% of which were crimes involving property, 36% involved public order, and 17% involved personal injury.
Of the investigation files that were opened, there 12 murder cases, 25 attempted murder cases, 179 rape cases, 447 cases of drug dealing, 1,622 home invasion cases, 2,078 vehicle theft cases, and 3,075 cases of malicious damage to property.
Most crimes against property take place within residences (2,734), on the streets of the city (2,282), and in stores (766).
This year the Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem has obtained from the Israel Police crime statistics by area, thus revealing where the “hotspots” of crime are located. The data present the location of the crime (where the investigation file is opened), rather than the criminal’s place of origin.
A total of 2,449 investigation files were opened in the city center (comprising 7% of files opened in Jerusalem), an area with many businesses and a good deal of human traffic during the day. The area with the second largest number of investigation files was Arnona, Mekor Haim, where 1,364 files were opened.
If you’re looking for a safe area within the city, very few files were opened west of Mekor Baruch: a total of 12. In the neighborhood of Um Tuba only 31 investigation files were opened.
The area with the largest number of investigation files regarding property crimes was Nahalat Shiva (440 files), followed by the Talpiot Industrial Zone (332 files), and the eastern central business district – Bab Al-Sahara (329 files).
The area where the largest number of files were opened that involved vice and sex crimes was the municipality compound (162 files).
A large number of files involving public order were opened in East Jerusalem. In the Muslim Quarter of the Old City a total of 773 investigation files were opened. This is the area within the Old City where Friday prayers take place. Beit Hanina had 487 investigation files opened, and in Bab Al-Sahara 320 investigation files were opened.
Stay safe!

Translation: Merav Datan

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Gender and Religiosity

Caroline Kahlenberg
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

A new study released by the Pew Research Center found that across the world and across religions, women are generally more religious than men. The study, “The Gender Gap in Religion around the World,” found that in all of the 84 countries for which data were available, women are more likely or equally likely as men to engage in daily prayer. Israel however, is the sole outlier in this trend: it is the only country surveyed in which a higher percentage of men than women reported engagement in daily worship, either public or private.  
This gender difference also exists in other categories relating to religious practice in Israel. Another recent Pew survey on Israeli society showed that Israeli Jewish men reported higher engagement in religious activities than women. For example, while 37% of Israeli Jewish men attend synagogue weekly or more, only 18% of their female counterparts do the same. 
These gender gaps in religious activity may be partially attributed to certain norms in Judaism that prioritize men’s attendance in worship over women’s; for example, among Orthodox Jews, a minyan of ten men is required to conduct communal worship services, whereas women are not counted or halakhically required to take part in this practice. 

Notably, however, the gap does not only exist with regard to worship attendance: even among activities that are not tied to male-only commandments, Israeli Jewish men were often recorded as being religiously engaged at a slightly higher rate than Israeli Jewish women. For example, 64% of Israeli Jewish men fasted all day last Yom Kippur, while 57% of Israeli Jewish women did the same. These women are also more likely to travel on Shabbat (65%) compared to their male counterparts (59% of whom travel on Shabbat). On the question of the importance of religion in one’s life, Israel also stood as an outlier in the Pew survey. In Israel, 35% of Israeli Jewish men reported that religion was “very important” to them, as compared to only 25% of Israeli Jewish women. In all other countries surveyed (aside from Mozambique), women were recorded as more likely or equally likely as men to consider religion as personally very important. Notably, among American Jews, these differences were not as apparent. 
The gender gap regarding the religiosity of Israeli Jews is also evident in their religious identification, according to the results of the Central Bureau of Statistics’ (CBS) annual social survey, though the gap in this area is quite narrow. Jewish men in Israel defined themselves (or were defined by particular criteria such as school system and residential neighborhood) as ultra-orthodox (9.8%) or religious (10.9%) at a slightly higher rate than Jewish women (among whom 8.4% identified as ultra-orthodox and 10.3% identified as religious). At the same time, Jewish women were more likely to identify as traditional (39.3%) than Jewish men (33.8%).
While the gender gap in religiosity and religious identification is clear with regard to Israeli Jews as a whole, when we take a look at the breakdown of religious practice according religious sector, the data reveal a more complicated picture. For example, the rates of prayer among Jews not defined as orthodox or religious reveal a trend in which the gender gap narrows and even reverses as the sector becomes more secular. According to the social survey, among Israeli Jews defined as "traditional-religious," 89.1% of men reported that they prayed always or frequently, as compared to 64.9% of women. Among those defined as "traditional but not so religious," this gap hardly existed: 38.9% of men and 37.6% of women attended prayer. And among those defined as secular, the trend reversed: Women reported praying always or frequently (12.7%) at a higher rate than men (8.2%). Moreover, importantly, this overall religious gender gap does not hold true for members of other religions in Israel. According to the CBS data, women of other faiths (the majority of whom are Muslim) identify as more religious than their male counterparts: 65.4% of non-Jewish women identified as very religious or religious, while only 45.1% of men did the same. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Jerusalem – Toward a fiscal balance

Glenn Yago, Senior Director, Milken Innovation Center
Jacob Udell, Research Analyst, Milken Innovation Center

In a word, Jerusalem is unique.  It is at once a world-class brand, a paradox of every type, and the obsession of about one-quarter of the people on the planet.  It is also a city – a municipality to almost 900 thousand people. Jerusalem is also structurally insolvent.  
With a 2016 operating budget of NIS 5.15 billion, Jerusalem received NIS 320 million to cover its operating deficit in 2015 and NIS 516 million in 2016.  In the simplest terms, this is 10% percent operating deficit. On its face, such a deficit is a big budget problem.  There is not enough money to pay the current bills – and to take care of long term needs and obligations such as infrastructure spending, pension obligations, and other legacy costs. With about one-third of the city’s population at or below the national poverty level (compared to one-fifth nationally, and just over one-tenth in Tel Aviv) and the high concentration of land use in government and non-profit activities, total property tax exemptions more than double that of Tel Aviv and Haifa – in 2015, such exemptions totalled over NIS 587 million, or 23% percent of all taxable real estate in the City.  Though Jerusalem businesses and residents who do pay property tax are burdened with rates at almost twice the amount per square meter than in other cities, total property tax collection per capita is still significantly lower than that of other major cities in the country (see chart).  All in all, per capita municipal expenditures in Jerusalem are about half the per capita expenditures in other major cities in Israel.   Jerusalem is like an employee who has to work sixteen hour shifts day after day and get only half the salary.
Each year, the public is treated to the spectacle of the City reaching out to the Government to help it settle its budget woes.  To his enormous credit, the Mayor has taken the position of promoting, leveraging, strengthening, and building the city out of this persistent deficit. 
The 2020 Plan, so called for both its perfect vision and unrealistic deadline, is a robust effort to leverage the region’s strengths, attract private investment, and increase the tax base sufficiently to overcome the budget deficit.  The joint investment of private capital, government, and philanthropy of NIS 1.2 billion over the next decade, along with the corresponding improvements in transportation and access within the city and with other cities on the coast, and the rehabilitation of neighborhoods, will spur economic growth in Jerusalem valued at NIS 4.15 billion. The influx of municipal revenue from new housing, new commercial activities, and new offices, and, yes, even new residents, even while adjusted for escalated costs of municipal operations over this period, is expected to eventually yield a viable operating margin to support the city’s growth and strengthen its financial condition. 
But how to achieve this fiscal balance when the new cash flow will be gradual over a long period of time and the amount needed to get there is so large?  Borrow against this incremental annual cash flow to pay for the needed investments in the city that will make these new sources of revenue possible.  This is a familiar fiscal strategy for cities around the world – New York (1975-1980), London, Chicago (1985-1995), Boston (1990-2010), Paris (1988-1995), Cleveland (1985-1995).  The Government can enable this new fiscal vision for Jerusalem by creating financial tools that create opportunities to investors that understand the long term benefits of a city in fiscal balance.

Monday, July 11, 2016

I Love the Cinema

Alon Kupererd
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies,

Who doesn’t love the cinema? The massive silver screen, the exciting movies, the dark, the smell of popcorn, and … the accessibility? In the past there were plenty of movie theaters throughout Israel’s city centers and local neighborhoods. There were theaters near one’s home, and one could easily and quickly reach them. With the decline of city centers and emergence of shopping malls during the 1990s, city cinemas also declined, to be transformed into multi-screen complexes located within these malls. During the 2000s movie theaters underwent another evolution, turning into multiplex cinemas with dozens of screens, alongside various other forms of commerce – usually near the outskirts or actually outside of the city. A romantic stroll to the movie theater is no longer practical; rather, one must get into the car or board the bus and take a journey to the massive complex.  

Let us illustrate this trend using the example of the Gush Dan region. Cinema Industry Association data show that a decade or so ago Tel Aviv had 47 movie screens. Today 18 remain. The demand for the cinema has not disappeared, but it has been redirected by movie theater chains to the outer layers of the metropolis. The cities that now welcome moviegoers are Ramat Gan, Ramat HaSharon, and Rishon LeZion. The country’s first multiplex cinema was built in Ramat HaSharon (at the Glilot Junction), and by 2005 it already had 19 screens, which became 30 within a decade. In Ramat Gan, where the second multiplex cinema was built, the number of screens grew from 8 in 2005 to 17 in 2015. In Rishon LeZion the number of screens increased from 12 to 47, the largest number of screens in an Israeli city. Most of the new theaters are located in the outskirts of these cities (in Ramat HaSharon – Glilot Junction; in Ramat Gan – Ayalon Mall; and on the western edge of Rishon LeZion).

In other cities, too, multiplex cinemas resulted in movie theaters vanishing from the city center. In Haifa the number of screens declined from 29 in 2005 to 23 in 2015. All are concentrated in the multiplex near the Check Post Junction on the outskirts of the city (it should be noted that in 2016 Haifa will again have a movie theater inside the city, when a complex with 17 screens will be opened within a shopping mall). In Jerusalem the opening of two new multiplexes during the past two years – which, in contrast to other cities are actually rather centrally located (Givat Ram and Hebron Road) – increased the number of screens from 16 in 2005 to 29 in 2015.

As to the number of moviegoers, the decrease in number of screens in Tel Aviv resulted, as expected, in a sharp decrease in the number of moviegoers, from about 1.2 million in 2005 to only about 818,000 in 2015. In contrast, in Haifa and Jerusalem the emergence of multiplexes resulted in a significant increase in the number of moviegoers. The opening of Jerusalem’s first multiplex in 2014 sparked an increase in the number of the city’s moviegoers, from some 497,000 in 2013 to about 1.04 million in 2014, and rising further to 1.23 million in 2015. 

In sum, it seems the People of the Book are not afraid of a long trek for a good movie.

Source: Cinema Industry Association in Israel

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Temporarily Out of Use

Yoad Shachar
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

The modern city serves us, its residents, in a variety of ways. We live, work, seek leisure and recreation, or simply walk around within the city. In the past, space was not sharply divided along its different uses, but during the nineteenth century the various uses of space within the city began to be differentiated so as to prevent nuisances or harm from certain uses of land to other parts.
The combination of land uses within a city varies across Israel’s various municipalities and local councils, and the particular mix generally reflects the character of the city. For example, a local council with a particularly high percentage of residential areas will serve primarily as a bedroom suburb whose residents seek employment and recreation elsewhere. Land use plays a major part in the socio-economic status of a city. We would expect, for example, that a town with large industrial zones – which are a main source of employment – would have many residents who are employed as blue-collar workers in the industrial sector. In contrast, a town with large areas of office space would serve as a home for many professionals. The combination of land uses is extremely significant in relation to the municipal budget, which is based on municipal taxes (Arnona) from apartments and properties in the city, some of which yield higher taxes than others: areas zoned for commerce yield a much higher Arnona than residential zones. In other words, the combination of land uses in large part determines the city’s economic base.
Jerusalem is Israel’s second-largest city after Dimona in terms of area of jurisdiction. It covers 125 square kilometers, significantly higher than the figures for Tel Aviv, with 52 square kilometers, or Haifa, with 65. Yet only 47% of Jerusalem comprises built-up areas, compared with 73% of the area of Tel Aviv and 55% of Haifa. The large discrepancies between these cities become strikingly apparent when we examine how their built-up areas are divided for various uses.
Among the major cities with a population greater than 200,000, Jerusalem dedicates the highest percentage of its built-up areas to residential purposes (71% of all built-up areas). This is a high percentage relative to what we might expect for the country’s largest city and the center of a metropolis. Among the major cities, Ashdod and Haifa have the lowest percentages of residential areas as a proportion of built-up areas. These cities have large areas zoned for industry as well as the infrastructure and transportation necessary for the ports they contain.
Another striking discrepancy among the major cities is the difference in percentage of area zoned for commerce and office space. Only 6% of the built-up area in Jerusalem serves as commerce or office space while in Tel Aviv the figure is 17% of built-up areas – nearly threefold. In Haifa 13% of built-up areas serve as commerce and office space, twice the figure for Jerusalem.
Areas zoned for commerce and office space are particularly significant in terms of the municipal budget because they yield higher Arnona municipal tax revenues than other land uses. As most of a municipality’s independent revenue comes from Arnona, the motivation to expand areas of commerce and office space is evident. This is apparently the reason that the big plans for city development focus on the business zone now taking shape and form at the entrance to the capital. It is important to keep in mind, however, that zoning land for commerce and office space does not guarantee that it will be used for this purpose. After zoning land for a particular use, and before printing those promising Arnona bills, the city must create incentives for companies and business owners to come and set up shop in the new business zone and thus actualize its intended use.

Translation: Merav Datan

Monday, June 6, 2016

What's My Age, Again?

Omer Yaniv
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Jerusalem today has a total of 840,000 residents, making it Israel’s most populous city. The city’s unique age distribution differentiate it from the country at large and from other cities. Among Israel’s major cities (more than 100,000 residents), Jerusalem is second only to Bnei Brak in having the youngest population: according to the Central Bureau of Statistics, over one-third of the city’s residents are below the age of 14, compared with 20% for Tel Aviv and Haifa, and 28% of the population of Israel at large. In contrast, only 15.5% of Jerusalem’s residents are 55 years old or older, compared with nearly a fifth of Israel’s residents, approximately a quarter of Tel Aviv residents, and 31.4% of Haifa residents. The median age for Jerusalem in 2015 was 23.7 years, in contrast to Israel, where the median age was 29.7. In Tel Aviv and Haifa, by comparison, the median age was 35.3 and 38.1, respectively.
An examination of Jerusalem’s internal age distribution reveals that the median age of the city’s Jewish residents, at 25.7 years, is higher than that of the Muslim population, at 20 years. The median age of West Jerusalem residents is higher than the figure for East Jerusalem: 26.3 years versus 22.3. The median age of women in Jerusalem is 24 years, higher than the figure for men, at 22.
In terms of Jerusalem neighborhoods, data from the Municipality of Jerusalem indicate that the youngest neighborhoods – those with the highest percentages of residents below age 21 – are ultra-orthodox (haredi) or located in East Jerusalem. Foremost among these are Me’a She’arim (61% of neighborhood residents), Ramat Shlomo (61%), and Kafr ‘Aqab (59%). In absolute figures, Ramot (25,440 residents), Shu’afat (19,630), and Romema (18,340) have the largest numbers of young residents. The neighborhoods with the highest percentages of elderly residents, aged 61 and above, are Talbiyeh (36%), the German Colony (31%), and Rehavia (29%). In absolute figures, Pisgat Ze’ev (6,390), Gilo (6,090), and Ramot (4,600) have the largest numbers of elderly residents.

Sources of data: Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, Municipality of Jerusalem


Sunday, May 22, 2016


Erela Ganan
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies,

In 2011 there were 166,296 live births in Israel, and the overall fertility rate – that is, the average number of children per woman – stood at 3.0. Jerusalem had 26,577 live births, with a fertility rate of 3.94, resulting mainly from the high birthrates in the Arab and ultra-orthodox sectors.
When speaking of childbirth, there is a tendency to avoid mentioning the tragedy of stillbirth. The Ministry of Health has published guidelines to help parents in these situations. The distinction between a miscarriage and stillbirth is based on one of two criteria: a weight of at least 500 grams at the time of the dead infant’s birth, or a birth that takes place during or after the 22nd week of pregnancy, when the weight is unknown. Such cases are statistically rare in Israel: of 167,188 births in Israel in 2011, “only” 892 were stillborn, that is, 0.53%, or in other words – 5.3 stillbirths for every 1,000 births. In the Jerusalem District 139 infants were stillborn, comprising 0.52%, that is, a rate of 5.2 per 1,000, while in Jerusalem itself the rate of stillbirths is 5.1 per 1,000, with 117 deaths. In Tel Aviv the rate is 5.5, whereas in Ashdod and Haifa the rates are 6.1 and 6.9, respectively. 
What about termination of pregnancy? A deliberate termination (abortion) may legally be performed in Israel only with the authorization of an abortion committee. In 2011 there were 10.3 such requests per 1,000 women (calculated for women of childbearing age, that is, 15-49). The Jerusalem District and city of Jerusalem had the lowest rates of requests in Israel (5.7 requests at the district level, and only 4.8 at the city level). Requests for termination of pregnancy are granted in various situations, such as when the pregnant woman is below marriageable age (17 years), when the woman is not married, or when the pregnancy is out of wedlock. Married women who face unwanted pregnancies, however, are trapped by the law. In 2012, 43.7% of the women who submitted requests to abortion committees were married, with the request in most cases taking place during the second month of pregnancy (when the average age of the fetus was 8.2 weeks). At the same time, abortion committees tend to approve the requests they receive: in 2012, 98.8% of requests were granted. It also turns out that there is a gap between the number of abortions authorized and the number of abortions that actually take place. (In 2010, out of a total of 21,363 requests, 20,809 were authorized and 19,531 were carried out.)

Sources: CBS, Ministry of Health

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Big City Transit

Yair Assaf-Shapira
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

In large cities, public transit is a critical factor which, in addition to personal mobility, enables economic development, social, commercial and cultural life. Looking at the quality of transit in cities can be done from a few perspectives, and this time we choose to look at the customer, or rider side.
In the Social Survey held annually by the Central Bureau of Statistics, participants are asked about their use and satisfaction with public transit in their city. In the surveys of 2013-14 (we averaged to minimize error) 69% of Israelis aged 20 and over stated that they use public transit. This percentage may seem high, but it's going down. Eight years before, in the 2005-06 surveys it stood higher, at 73%.
One could expect to find a higher percentage of users in large cities. This is true for Jerusalem, Haifa Ashdod and Petach Tikva (where use rates are 84%, 79%, 78% and 71% respectively), but wrong for Rishon Lezion and Tel Aviv (63% and 65% respectively). We may assume that Jerusalem's exceptionally high rate (at 84%), stems from the combination of a very large city in terms of distances, with some of the neighborhoods located far from activity centers; a large population of young adults (ex. students); a large population living in a low socio-economic status; and a well developed net of busses and light rail compared to other cities in Israel.
The reforms done in Jerusalem and Haifa's transit systems may be one of the factors contributing to the fact that these are the only two cities in which a rise in transit use was recorded. Use in Haifa and in Jerusalem rose by 4 and by 1 percentage points (PP) respectively. In the other large cities in Israel a drop of 1 to 4 PP was recorded.
How about satisfaction from transit service? It seems that the high rate of users in Jerusalem is not connected to satisfaction from public transit. Only 45% of the Jerusalemite transit users stated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the public transportation in their area of residence. This figure is low compared to both Israel (58%) and the other large cities (67% to 75%). The combination of a high user rate and low satisfaction rate shows that many of Jerusalem's transit riders are "captive audience", using transit not necessarily because it's the best option to get around in the city.
On the other hand, Jerusalem is the only city in Israel with an LRT line. The LRT completely reformed transit in the city, and the system is still expanding, so one may argue that we are still in the "learning curve".

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What's so special about the Israel Festival?

Ruth Abraham
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

The program of the fifty-fifth Israel Festival was unveiled on April 11, and tickets have started to be sold. The festival originally began in 1961 as a festival of classical music, and over the years it grew into a multidisciplinary event. Today, it hosts dance, theater, music and art performances. The festival takes place during an eventful month, beginning in the end of May. The goal of the festival is described on the official website as "enriching the cultural landscape of Jerusalem and Israel, encouraging international cultural relationships, and promoting discourse on art".
Up until the 1980s, the festival, financed mainly by institutional funds, stood out in Israel as one of the main importers of international culture. In July 1983, however, Davar described a situation in which other private and institutional bodies were also bringing shows to Israel throughout the year: "The main difficulty [of the Israel Festival] and benefit for the consumers of culture is that a yearlong festival is taking place, unofficial, and unsponsored by national agencies."(Mai Paz). Unlike the Israel Festival, these shows were based mainly on self-generated income, namely commercial sponsorships and ticket selling.
According to the report Festivals in Israel, 2011 by the culture administration of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Israel Festival was the longest in Israel: it lasted 27 days, hosted 66 productions, and was the second largest in terms of number of productions and of Israeli shows specially produced for it. The number of paying visitors reached 28,600, which was second only to the dance festival in Karmiel, visited by over 53,000 paying visitors.
A look at the Israel Festival programs since 2007 reveals that visiting (international) productions form approximately 55% of the hosted acts, and 35%-70% of the running shows (see graph). At the most recent festival (2015), the international shows formed 59% of the hosted acts, and 69% of the running shows. Budget reports of the last seven years show that the self-generated income covers approximately one-third of the festival's budget, and number of tickets sold is around 40,000. The year 2014 was an exception, with 59,000 tickets sold.
To conclude, in its over thirty years, the Israel Festival is not the single actor in the arena of culture imports to Israel; as such, its task is not only to maintain high standards of both local and international acts, but also to include an exceptionally large volume of work.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Commute

Yair Assaf-Shapira

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

In the future, the commute time between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is supposed to be shorter than it is today. Will this have an effect on residential choices? Will more people opt to live in Tel Aviv and work in Jerusalem, or maybe vice versa? When planning for the future, it's usually a good idea to start with the present and look at the current trends.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics' Workforce Survey, in 2013 Jerusalem was the workplace of 293,000 workers, the majority of whom (224,700) also resided in the city. Most of the 68,600 workers commuting from outside of Jerusalem reside in its periphery (Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria districts). This sums up to 48,100 commuters. Meanwhile, 16,600 workers come to Jerusalem from the Center (Central and Tel Aviv Districts), and the rest commute from the South, the North, and Haifa. We may assume that people commuting from the Center make up most of the potential riders of the train and the upgraded Route 1 to Jerusalem.

What about travel in the opposite direction? Will the trains from Jerusalem in the morning leave full? Will they carry more passengers than those arriving from Tel Aviv? The number of workers residing in Jerusalem and commuting to localities outside of the city stands at 34,000, or about half of the number of people commuting into the city. Of this group, 10,300 work in the Center (2,900 of them in Tel Aviv proper), making up the potential riders from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv. If the train were to open today, the Tel Aviv-to-Jerusalem direction would be the busier one. 

Car counts from roads connecting Jerusalem to the Center reveal a somewhat similar trend. From 6:00—10:00, some 9,300 cars entered Jerusalem via road no. 1 (the measuring point was located between Sha'ar Hagai and Shoresh; data are averages of the years 2012-13), and about 6,600 cars entered via road no. 443 (the measuring point was located between Modi'in and Giv'at Ze'ev; data are for 2015). Measuring these together, there are approx. 15,900 cars driving from the Center towards Jerusalem during these four hours. During the same hours, some 13,300 cars were traveling in the opposite direction on the same road segments. An opposite trend occurs in the afternoon, as commuters return from work. Between 14:00—18:00, some 17,200 cars were traveling in the direction of Tel Aviv, compared to 15,300 cars traveling in the direction of Jerusalem.

It appears that there is a substantial travel demand in both directions, a trend which stems from the fact that different people want different things. We can assume that this trend will continue to prevail and that the commute direction from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will remain stronger even when the commute time will be shorter. The number of commuters in both directions will likely grow substantially.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Lior Lehrs

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

A-Tur is an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem located on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. It is distinguished by having, and being surrounded by, many religious and historical sites of importance to the three religions, including the Church of All Nations, Al-Zawiya al-As’adiyaa, and the Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery. Likewise, the neighborhood is a focal point for healthcare needs, with the hospitals of Al-Makassed, Augusta Victoria, and Amira al-Basma. 

The neighborhood (including the areas of the sub-neighborhoods Ash-Shayah and A-Sawaneh) has a residential population of 24,320 (as of the close of 2013). The overwhelming majority are Muslim, with a total of 80 Christian families. In 1945, towards the end of the British Mandate, A-Tur had a total of 2,800 residents, and in 1961, during Jordanian rule, it had 4,300 residents. Between the years 1967 and 2013 the population of the neighborhood increased by more than a factor of 4.5. A-Tur is considered one of the major neighborhoods of East Jerusalem in terms of population size. Only Beit Hanina (35,810 residents), the Muslim Quarter of the Old City (28,180), and Ras al-‘Amud (24,640) have larger populations. The median age for the neighborhood is 21 years, slightly higher than the average median age for all East Jerusalem neighborhoods (20). The Arab neighborhood with the highest median age is Abu Tor (25) and the one with the lowest is Sur Baher (16).

In economic terms, A-Tur is ranked in the third cluster of the city-scale Socio-Economic Index of the Central Bureau of Statistics (the lowest cluster is 1 and the highest is 20, based on the 2008 census). All the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are in clusters 2-5, that is, in the lowest quartile. Only two areas are ranked in cluster 5: the neighborhood of Bab a-Zahara and the Armenian Quarter of the Old City. The average monthly per capita income in the neighborhood is NIS 1,783, comparable to the average for Arab neighborhoods (NIS 1,735). The average for the city is NIS 3,916 and the average for the country is NIS 5,190. The Arab neighborhoods with the highest average monthly income are Beit Safafa (2,321) and Bab –Zahara (2,089), while the area of “New Anata” (1,465) and the Shuafat refugee camp (1,481), both of which are beyond the separation wall, have the lowest income levels. 

On average, East Jerusalem residents of Arab neighborhoods aged 25-54 have 11 years of education. This is also the average for A-Tur, and is lower than the average for the country (13 years of education). Among A-Tur residents, 13% have an academic degree. This is lower than the average for Arab neighborhoods (17%) as well as the average for the city (28%) and the country (30%). 

* The analysis is based on data of the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Socio-Economic Index of the 2008 Census, and data from the JIIS Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem. 

Take the Keys but It’s Registered in My Name

Lior Regev

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Last August, after years of planning and delays, work began on the first line (the Red Line) of the light rail in Metropolitan Tel Aviv. The complex infrastructure works that are taking place in the heart of the metropolis have raised concerns and tempers among merchants and business owners worried about loss of income and clients. The efforts it took to build and operate the light rail in Jerusalem teach us that the process of constructing a public transportation route in a built-up area that serves as an urban center can be expected to involve difficult labor pains.

Although it has improved in recent years, the municipal public transportation system here is not as developed as that of cities in Western Europe. The limited mobility, in addition to lack of public transportation on Saturday, leads many to purchase a private vehicle. According to data of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in 2014 more than 2.1 million vehicles were registered in Israel. Some 83% (close to 1.8 million) of these were private cars (neither public nor commercial), and the remainder comprised taxicabs, trucks, buses, minibuses, and two-wheeled vehicles. 

In terms of locality, evidently even though Jerusalem has 23,000 more households than Tel Aviv (210,000 and 186,000, respectively), the number of private cars registered in Jerusalem is about 25% lower than the number for Tel Aviv (161,000 for Jerusalem compared with 214,000 for Tel Aviv).

Rishon LeZion – presumably because it is a suburb where many residents work in the metropolis – holds the record for the number of private cars per household, with an average of 1.18 cars per household. Tel Aviv is next, with 1.15 cars per household, and Haifa is in third place at 0.93. The average number of cars per household in Jerusalem is 0.77, slightly higher than the average for Israel, at 0.76.

One can imagine several reasons for the higher number of cars in Tel Aviv: Jerusalem residents are less wealthy on average and therefore less able to handle the expenses of a car. Additionally, Tel Aviv constitutes a center of business, and a profile of its residents includes more workers in free trades, who are willing and able to pay for increased mobility and time saved. 

But this is only a partial explanation. Traffic jams are the lot of any city such as Tel Aviv, the core city of a metropolis, just as other core cities throughout the world have to cope with ongoing traffic congestion. In other words, if you live in the inner city, a car might not necessarily improve your mobility in getting around the city, certainly not if a light rail line is being installed. Another reason lies in the system of registering vehicles by address.

The CBS classifies vehicles according to the address of the owner. For this reason, many cars are registered in Tel Aviv, when in fact they are registered in the name of private companies that operate in the city. These are in addition to state-owned cars and cars on lease. In sum, the number of cars in a city provides a direct measure of economic activity in the city, and serves as another indicator of the economic strength of the city.

Municipal Assets – Public Goods

Ruth Avraham

Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Municipal assets are assets which the municipality owns or rents, as well as manages. These are a rare public resource, mostly used by various municipality departments or private voluntary associations that receive the building in a land allocation process.

In 2012, the "Public Knowledge Workshop" together with "Hitorerut" movement compiled a list of municipal assets in Jerusalem. The list contains 2,590 assets, with a total area of 3,400 dunams, or 3% of Jerusalem's municipal area. Sixty-eight percent of the assets serve as educational facilities such as kindergartens, elementary or intermediate schools, yeshivas, ulpena etc.; eleven percent are used by community, sport and welfare facilities; eight percent are bomb shelters; and the other 13% are divided between various cultural venues, libraries, mother and child care, offices, storage and others.

East Jerusalem residents constitute 37% of the city's population, but only 10% of the municipal assets are located in East Jerusalem. In Ultra-orthodox neighborhoods, whose population composes approximately 20% of the population, the "Public Knowledge Workshop" and "Hitorerut" found 25% of the assets. East Jerusalem has less than two assets per thousand residents; the large neighborhoods such as Gilo, Pisgat Ze'ev, and Har Homa have 2-5; and southern neighborhoods, mostly populated by the "General" Jewish population (non-Ultra-orthodox), such as Bak'a, Kiryat Yovel, Ein Karem and Makor Haim have 5-8. The overall average in Jerusalem stands at 3.2 assets per 1,000 residents.

All cultural venues, according to the list, are located in West Jerusalem. Only 5% of community, sport and welfare facilities are in East Jerusalem, along with only 3 branches of mother and child care (5% of the total in Jerusalem). Only 2 of 196 bomb shelters are in East Jerusalem.

The street and facility mapping's accuracy is limited, so there may have been errors in the geo-coding process. A further error may have been caused by the analyses of the number of assets, which greatly differ in size, but the overall trend is quite clear, and in line with other findings. We did not compare these findings to world trends, since definitions are very different in different countries.