Friday, October 15, 2010

Young Adults

Eitan Bluer

Research has shown that a young population holds the potential to introduce urban renewal and local economic growth. It is therefore beneficial to map out the distribution of young adults in Jerusalem and to identify future trends in an effort to gauge the state of the city and to plan for its future. Jerusalem is currently one of the youngest cities in Israel because of the high percentage of children, but it is actually within the national range in terms of its young adult population (ages 20-34). At the end of 2008, residents of Jerusalem between the ages of 20 and 34 accounted for 22% of the city’s population (170,000), the same percentage as in Haifa - 22% (57,000) and similar to the national rate of 23% (1,665,000), but substantially less than Tel Aviv’s rate of 30% (116,000). Mapping the neighborhoods in Jerusalem which boast the highest percentages of residents in their 20s and 30s may aid policy planning and planning services and infrastructures specifically tailored for their needs such as bus lines that service leisure centers, higher education, etc. In contrast to what one might think, Jerusalem’s 20 and 30 year-olds are not concentrated around Jerusalem’s City Center but, in fact, are spread out throughout the city in a rate similar to their distribution in the population. That is to say that Jerusalem’s largest neighborhoods have the largest numbers of residents aged 20-34. In 2008, 9,500 were living in Ramot (5.5% of Jerusalem’s population of young adults), another 9,300 were living in Pisgat Ze’ev (5.5%), 8,400 (5%) were living in Shuafat, and 8,000 in the Old City (5%).

The number of residents aged 20-34 as a percentage of a neighborhood’s population is a useful indicator that can provide information about the neighborhood’s makeup and potential for urban renewal. In 2008, the neighborhoods of Jerusalem which had the highest number of young professionals as a percentage of their total population were the City Center and French Hill (37%), Nahlaot (32%), Rehavia (30%), and Kiryat Yovel (27%). These neighborhoods also enjoyed the largest number of incoming, new residents between the ages of 20 and 34. In some neighborhoods, including City Center, Rehavia and Nahlaot, between 65% and 68% of the incoming residents were between the ages of 20 and 34, and in Talbiyeh and French Hill the numbers reached 53% and 50% respectively.

Friday, October 1, 2010

An Israeli Vacation

Aviel Yelinek

Many Israelis take time during the Tishrei Holiday season to vacation in Israel and abroad. The long lines at the passport renewal offices at the Ministry of Interior and at the passport control counters at Ben Gurion Airport give rise to a general feeling that many spend the holidays vacationing overseas. In truth, however, there are many more who spend their holidays in Israel. Data from the 2008 Social Survey conducted by the Israel CBS indicate that some 51% of Israelis (ages 20 and over) vacationed overnight in Israel (during the 12 months that preceded the interview) compared with 31% of Israelis who vacationed abroad.

CBS Social Survey data indicate a correlation between the degree of religious observance and the likelihood of vacationing in Israel: in 2008, 58% of secular Jewish Israelis had vacationed in Israel during the preceding year as compared with 55% of National- Religious Israelis and 46% of Ultra-Orthodox Israelis.

Not surprisingly, one’s financial situation would affect one’s decision whether to take a vacation. The 2008 Social Survey indicates that 68% of Israelis citizens who reported that they were extremely content with their personal financial situation had vacationed in Israel during the preceding year, compared with only 58% of those who reported mild content with their personal financial situation, 44% of those who reported that they were not-so-pleased with their situation and 23% of those who said they were extremely displeased with their situation.

A comparison across Israel’s central cities reveals that 48% of
Jerusalem’s residents vacationed in Israel in 2008 compared to 55% of Tel Aviv residents, 53% of Rishon Lezion residents, 52% of Ashdod residents and 47% of Haifa residents.

There are is an obvious disparity within the city of Jerusalem itself between the percentages of the Jewish residents of the city who vacation in Israel compared with their Arab neighbors: 59% of Jerusalem’s Jewish population vacationed in Israel in 2008 as compared with only 24% of Jerusalem’s Arab population.