Friday, August 31, 2018

Leaving and Coming Home


Yair Assaf-Shapira

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in 2016 (the most recent year for which there is detailed data), the population of Jerusalem grew by two percent, the same percentage by which the entire population of Israel increased during the same year.
The change in the scope of the population in the city is mainly the result of natural increase (the difference between the number of live births and the number of deaths in a given year), immigrants, and movement between settlements. Other factors include the reunification of families, emigration, and returning residents.




According to the CBS, a resident of Israel who spends more than a year abroad is considered a resident who has left (a yored), and upon returning to Israel, a resident who has spent more than a year abroad is considered to be a returning resident or an "incoming yored" (as distinguished from a "new immigrant," who is defined as someone who wasn't a resident of Israel, immigrated, and received citizenship). In 2016, there were 15,200 Israelis classified as "departing residents," while 8,900 returned after a year or more abroad. For Jerusalem, the data was 1,640 departures, and 790 incoming. In Tel Aviv the figures for outgoing and incoming residents were 1,600 and 640, respectively.

Those leaving and entering Israel are distinguished by the different ages in each group. Among those leaving, most are families with children up to the age of ten. Moving with children occurs within the country as well, but usually the ages of the children are zero to four, and the percentage of children ages five to nine, is relatively low. The decision to move to a different country is more complicated than the decision to move to a new area, and it may be that it isn't carried out for a few years.   
The ages of adults who leave the country are more diverse than of those who move between settlements. Despite the dominance of 20- to 29-year-olds among those moving from place to place within the country, among those leaving are many in the 30 to 44-year-old age group.
Among the "returning yordim," there are similar numbers among all the age groups, up to age 45. This may be because leaving the country for an extended period for study or work is considered emigration, while returning is viewed differently, and is undertaken regardless of the ages of the returnees.

Translated by Gilah Kahn

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