Monday, August 15, 2016

Households and Religiosity

Yair Assaf-Shapira
Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies

Every year, on the occasion of "Jerusalem Day", the Jerusalem Institute publishes the annual Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem. The yearbook is the main data source on the city, and as such, it's used regularly by the writers of this column.
We tend to thoroughly examine population (persons) data, but today I want to look at household (HH) data. When trying to estimate demand for housing as well as for other services, HH data is sometimes more important than persons data.
There are 2.3 million HHs in Israel, and 210,100 of them live in Jerusalem. Jerusalem's share of HHs in Israel is lower than its share of population (8.8% compared with 10%), due to the relatively large HH size in the capital (3.9 persons compared with 3.3 in Israel). The balance between the Jewish and Arab HHs is also different than the populations balance, and the Jewish HHs form 71% of the total HHs, compared with 63% of the population.
Household size in Jerusalem may be large on average, but still, 38% of the HHs are of one or two persons only. These HHs include Jerusalem's many students and other young adults. Among the Jewish HHs this figure rises to 47%, or almost half of the HHs, slightly higher even than the figure for the Jewish HHs in Israel (46%). With such a high percentage of small HHs, it may be asked how come the average HH size in the city is larger than in Israel. The answer lies in the high percentage of HHs sized 7 persons and above in Jerusalem (15%, compared with 5.9% in Israel).
As of this yearbook, thanks to changes in the Labor Force Survey held by the Central Bureau of Statistics, data is available about the breakdown of the HHs by religious affiliation. Among the Jewish HHs, the secular and traditional HHs form 45%, the "very religious" and Ultra-orthodox form 33%, and the observant (religious) HHs, 22%. Among the Arab HHs, traditional and secular HHs form 64% (the majority of whom stated they were traditional), and observant (together with a very small percentage of "very religious") HHs, form 36%.