Jerusalem – Despite the trend of emigration from the capital, the population of Jerusalem increased by 1.8 percent to reach 760,800 during 2008, 10% of the total population of Israel, according to data released by the Jerusalem Center for Israel Studies ahead of Jerusalem Day.
The report said that the population of the capital consisted of some 429,000 Jewish and non-Arab residents (65%) and 268,000 Arabs (35%). According to the data, the Jewish population grew by 1% during 2008, with the Arab community increasing by 3%.
The report divided Jerusalem’s population to 476,000 Jews (64%), 247,800 Muslims (33%), 12,600 Christian Arabs (2%) and 2,600 non-Arab Christians (0.3%). One percent did not declare a faith affiliation.
Since the liberation of the capital during the Six-Day War in 1967, Jerusalem’s population has increased 186%, with the Arab population of east Jerusalem growing 291%, almost twice the growth rate of the Jewish population.
Tourism to Jerusalem hit an all-time high in 2008, with 1,354,300 tourists staying in the capital’s hotels. It marked a 10% increase since 2007 and a 12% increase since 2000.
The number of haredim employed in industry in Jerusalem has ballooned by some 70% over the past five years, according to Yitzhak Reif, the chairman of the Jerusalem chapter of the Manufacturers Association of Israel.
Reif called on the leaders of the capital’s various ultra-Orthodox sects to allow their followers to pursue a technological education and a career in industry.
According to Reif, who released the data ahead of Jerusalem Day, there are currently some 2,800 haredim employed in about 380 production plants in the city.
Reif said that the majority of employed haredim were working as computer programmers, and that in companies that employed haredim, the ultra-Orthodox generally comprised some 2%-10% of all workers.
Some 20,000 haredim are employed in industry nationwide, 11,000 of them women.