Jerusalem’s population is one of the least prosperous in Israel in terms of socioeconomic status, and has suffered a regression in recent years, a new report by the Central Bureau of Statistics shows.
The CBS’s biennial geographic socioeconomic index, based on data up to 2015, ranks the Israeli capital at 50 out of 255 cities and local councils (1 being the lowest number), a drop from its number 61 spot in the previous report. Jerusalem was ranked 99 in 2008.
The city of 860,000 people, the country’s largest, thus joins many other Arab and ultra-Orthodox communities near the bottom of the list, including Modiin Illit (7), Beitar Illit (10), Jisr az-Zarqa (13), Umm al-Fahm (18) and Safed (34).
The index is calculated based on multiple variables including education, income, reliance on stipends, female employment, vehicle ownership and more.
Topping out the list are the communities of Savyon and Kfar Shmaryahu, Kochav Ya’ir and Ramat Hasharon. Tel Aviv comes in at number 222, Haifa is somewhat lower down at 188 and Beersheba is at 134.
The report showed very little mobility in communities’ status, with occupants of the top 10 and bottom 10 spots remaining largely unchanged between 2013 and 2015.
The Jerusalem Municipality told the Calcalist newspaper in response that the index “suffers from numerous distortions that do not represent positive trends” in the city. It also noted that the data does not relate to changes since 2015 and claimed that much action had been taken in recent years that led to “higher employment, lower poverty…and a significant increase in jobs in the city.”