Only 41 percent of Jerusalem high school students passed their matriculation exams last year, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Education Ministry. The number represents a seven percent drop from 2010.

Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv the numbers showed an opposite trend, with 73% of teens matriculating, an increase of five percent from the previous year.

A broader view of the statistics nationwide revealed that matriculation success correlates closely with cities’ socio-economic indicators. The numbers showed a widening education gap between prosperous cities in the center and poorer cities on the periphery of the country, and gaps between secular communities on one hand and ultra-Orthodox on the other.

The city of Shoham, near Ben Gurion Airport, led the country’s matriculation rankings, with 86.2% of students eligible for a high school diploma, followed by Kochav Yair (84.82%), the Hof Sharon Regional Council (82.2%), Kiryat Ono (81.5%) and Ra’anana (80.14%).

Cities with predominantly ultra-Orthodox citizens were ranked very low. Only 10% of students in Bnai Brak, Beitar Illit and Kiryat Sefer were eligible to receive a high school diploma.

Two weeks ago the Education Ministry revealed that there was a slight drop in overall student matriculation numbers, from 48.3% in 2010 to 48.1% in 2011.