Jerusalem’s Arab population rising twice as fast as its Jewish

May 8 06:13 AM US/Eastern

The number of Arabs living in Jerusalem grew twice as fast as the city’s Jewish population over the past decade, according to a report by an Israeli research institute.

At current growth rates, Jews will comprise 60 percent of the holy city’s population by 2020 compared with 66 percent now, according to projections by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

It said the Arab population would rise from 34 percent to 40 percent over the same period.

The city’s population in 2007 stands at 720,000 people, a figure that includes east Jerusalem which was captured and later annexed by Israel after the 1967 war, as well as new districts built in the same area.

Over the past 40 years the Arab population has grown by 257 percent from 68,000 to its current level of 245,000, while the number of Jews living in the city has risen by 140 percent — from 200,000 to 475,000.

The Arab birth rate for the past decade has been between three percent and four percent, more than double that of Jews. If this trend continues Arabs will make up 50 percent of the population by 2035, the report said.

Jerusalem’s demographic evolution has been altered by the departure of thousands of Jewish families from the city itself to the outskirts and nearby settlements in the occupied West Bank, where living costs are cheaper.


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