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