In honor of the upcoming Christmas holiday, which is just around the corner, we are bringing readers a few statistics about Jerusalem’s Christian population. Despite the fact that Jerusalem is considered a holy city by Christians, as of the end of 2017, only 16,000 Christians lived in the city. Of that number, 12,600 of them are Arab Christians. Moreover, 9% of Israel’s Christian Arab population lives in Israel’s capital, making it the third largest concentration of Christian Arabs in all of Israel. The city with the largest Christian Arab population is Nazareth, with Haifa coming in second place.
Similarly, 8% of Israel’s non-Arab Christians live in Jerusalem, and 10% live in Haifa and Tel Aviv. Jerusalem’s Christian population increased by only 1% in 2018, as opposed to the Muslim community, which increased by 2.5%, and the Jewish population, which saw an increase of 1.8% in Jerusalem.
Which neighborhoods do the Christian residents of Jerusalem live in? While 96% of Christian Arabs live in the eastern part of Jerusalem, and only 4% in western Jerusalem, among non-Arab Christian residents, the split is more or less even between the two sections: 51% live in eastern Jerusalem and 49% in western Jerusalem. The neighborhoods with the highest number of Christian Arab residents are Beit Hanina (3,100), the Christian Quarter of the Old City (2,600), and Beit Safafa (1,300). The neighborhoods with the highest number of non-Arab Christians are Pisgat Ze’ev (360), East Talpiot (320) and Gonenim (190).
The Christian population of Jerusalem is significantly older than the rest of the city’s residents. In 2017, the median age (i.e. half of the population is younger and half of the population is older than this age) of Christian Arabs living in Jerusalem was 34.5 years old, whereas the median age of non-Arab Christians was 43.9 years old. In contrast, the median age of the general population of the city was 23.8 years old (25.3 among Jews and 21.1 among Muslims). Of the city’s Christian residents, 15% are 65 and older, as opposed to only 9% among the general population of Jerusalem.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.