The population registrar of the State of Israel, as published by the Population and Immigration Authority, includes about 10 million residents. The estimate of the Central Bureau of Statistics for the country’s population is lower, standing at about 9.3 million at the end of March 2021 (a gap of about 7%). The discrepancy is due to a number of reasons, mainly residents registered in Israel but actually residing abroad for an extended period. Today we discuss meta data.

As for the place of residence in Israel, CBS’ estimates for the population in each locality are based on the population registrar (i.e. from the locality where one is registered in the Ministry of Interior), but the CBS corrects the estimates according to the census, and surveys it conducts (if a respondent in the survey lives in a different place than where she is registered, a correction is recorded), covering hundreds of thousands of residents per year.

The CBS’ estimate for the population of Jerusalem at the end of April 2021 is 955,916 residents (provisional data). According to the population registrar, 1,030,682 residents are registered in the city, a difference of 7.8%. There are people registered in other cities and living in Jerusalem, such as many students, but at least 74,800 for whom it is the other way around (Registered in the city but not living in it.) Among these can be found Jerusalem residents who live abroad, Jerusalemites who left the city but did not change their registered address at the Ministry of Interior, and perhaps also people who moved their address to Jerusalem without actually moving here.

The localities where the gap between the CBS estimate and the registrar is highest, are the Bedouin localities, e.g. Bir Hadaj, where the number of registered residents is smaller than the number of estimated residents by 53%.

Among the medium and large cities (over 50,000 inhabitants), a large gap was recorded in Eilat (29%), Bat-Yam (23%), Tel Aviv (20%), Raanana (19%), and Nahariya (16%). In all these cities the gap was in the same direction – the number of registered was higher than the estimated actual number of residents.

Small gaps between the estimate and the registry data were recorded (among the medium and large cities) in Umm al-Fahm (1.3%), Ness Ziona (1.6%), Rosh HaAyin (2.0%), Modi’in Illit (2.1%), and Modi’in  (2.5%).