Eitan Bluer

from: City in Numbers

Since the end of the 1970s a bi-national, Jewish-Arab, metropolitan area has formed and grown around Jerusalem. The development of the metropolitan area is the result of a process of suburbanization, expressed in the movement of population and economic activities from Jerusalem out to the areas surrounding it. In parallel to this exodus, many and varied ties have developed between Jerusalem and its environs: economic activity, cultural and religious activities, infrastructure, tourism, and population migration – both change of residence and commuting.

These connections have transformed the metropolitan area into a multi-functional expanse serving both the city and the outlying areas. It is therefore difficult to separate what goes on in the jurisdiction of the city and in the whole metropolitan area, which is composed of many different localities.

Statistics on the outward migration from Jerusalem demonstrate the process of development of the Jewish metropolitan area surrounding Jerusalem. One finds that the Jewish population leaving Jerusalem for surrounding areas close to the city (the Jerusalem district, Judea and Samaria) has grown from 6% of all those leaving the city in the years 1967-1976 to 32% in the years 1977-1986, 45% in the years 1987-1996, and up to 51% in the last decade. That is, in recent years half of the residents who left the city of Jerusalem remained in the area, choosing to move to surrounding localities.

The graph displays the balance of migration between Jerusalem and other regions of the country, showing the trend of metropolitanization. The negative balance of migration between Jerusalem and the surrounding localities – of metropolitan Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – has grown higher and higher. That is, the gap between the number of residents leaving Jerusalem for the metropolitan area and those coming in from the area into the city has widened: more have left the city than came into it.

From a comparison between the direction of migration between Jerusalem and other regions of the country one learns that over the last four decades Jerusalem has had a positive balance of migration in relation to Haifa, the north, and the south, but a negative one in relation to the Tel Aviv and central regions – a trend which has been growing over the last decade.

The Balance of Migration between Jerusalem and Other Regions of the Country.

Source: processing of data from the relevant years of the Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem, published by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and the Jerusalem Municipality.