One of the sources for learning about a population is its age structure – how many residents are there in each age group. Large groups of children, other dominant age groups, graded or sharp difference between adjacent age groups – all of these are clues to demographic characteristics such as immigration, birth rate, and even education. The ages are usually studied using a chart known as the “age pyramid”. We looked at some pyramids (actually “half pyramids”) from the data for the end of 2019, which will be published in the statistical yearbook of Jerusalem, on the upcoming Jerusalem Day.

Among 0-34 year olds in Jerusalem, it seems that the slope of the pyramid, or the difference between the age groups, is steady. This may seem as if the birth rate has not changed in the last 35 years. However, looking separately at the two main populations of the city, Jews and Arabs, reveals a different trend. During the last 20 years, it seems, the birth rate of the Arab population has fallen sharply, and the difference between the age groups in this range is small. In those years, it is evident that among the Jews in Jerusalem, the difference between the age groups was increasing, meaning that the birth rate is rising. This is mainly effected by the ultraorthodox population of the city.

Haifa’s population is relatively old. People aged 70-74 are a dominant age group in the city, and constitute 5.5% of the population, compared with 3.2% in Israel as a whole, and 2.4% in Jerusalem. In Tel Aviv, the dominant age group is 30-34, who constitute 11% of the city’s population. The percentage of children in Tel Aviv (7.5%) is relatively low, but is on the rise. Both in Haifa and in Tel Aviv, the population of the “baby boom” that characterized the country’s first years can be seen in the age pyramid. This is evident in the large difference between the 70-74 group and the 75-79 group.

It is interesting to see that among the Arab populations living in both Tel Aviv and Haifa, the dominant age group is 20-24, which constitute 12% and 11% of the Arab population in each of the respective cities. It can be assumed that these are Arab students who come to these cities to study at universities.