According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, Jerusalem experiences the most internal net negative migration in Israel. In 2016, the most recent year measured, 9,702 people moved to Jerusalem from places around Israel while 17,654 people left. The net negative migration of -7,925 is by far the worst in Israel with Ashdod next on the list with -2,705. 6,500 of those who left Jerusalem (37%) were between the ages of 15-29, though 4,042 came to the city. It is important to note that looking at the numbers per 1000 people puts Jerusalem at the 16th worse at -0.90%.
In general, many of Israel’s largest cities lost people in 2016 including Tel Aviv (-2,469) Haifa (-2,615) and Be’er Sheva (-1,363). Meanwhile, Beit Shemesh netted 1,788 new residents. Rosh Ha’ayin gained the most new residents at 1,882.
The exact meaning of the negative migration is hard to parse without a more detailed description of the numbers such as which cities are gaining Jerusalem’s former residents. Jerusalem’s large Haredi population could be moving to Beit Shemesh or its student population could be leaving towards the center (to name just two theories). Different explanations have different policy consequences for the city and, in fact, the overall trend is an improvement.
Either way, there is no doubt Jerusalem is changing.