Thursday, March 28, 2013

80% of Israelis to live in Tel Aviv Area by 2025

Israelis are moving to the country's central region in such large numbers that experts predict 80% of Israel's population will be living in the greater Tel Aviv area by 2025. The past decade saw continuous movement from the country's periphery to the center, according to statistics from the Bank of Israel and Central Bureau of Statistics. The result is that the southern and northern districts have suffered negative migration over the years, while the central district has enjoyed positive migration at their expense. "The Israeli nation is congregating on the central plain, in the greater metropolitan Tel Aviv area," says Arnon Soffer, professor emeritus of geography and environmental sciences at the University of Haifa. "There are many figures attesting to Jews leaving the Galilee. All the development towns in the periphery are emptying." "Currently 30% of Israelis live in the periphery, and it is estimated that by 2025 80% of all Israelis will be living in greater Tel Aviv, in the region bounded by Hadera, Modi'in, and Gedera," Soffer continues. "The watershed lines of the periphery are now moving further afield to Kiryat Gat and Zichron Yaakov because of the highways."

About half a million Israelis move every year, and half of those move out of town, according to statistics from the Bank of Israel and the Central Bureau of Statistics. Most are between the ages of 20 and 34, and most relocate to areas relatively close by. The tendency to move, greater among people with more income and education, declines with age and then rises again upon retirement, figures show. Few Israelis live out their entire lives in the same locale. Most of the people who move apparently do so for better jobs and housing. For others it boils down to better schools or a more suitable social scene. Whatever the reason, such population shifts can greatly affect cities' demographics: Cities such as Beit Shemesh, Rosh Ha'ayin, Jerusalem and Yavneh, towns such as Mitzpeh Ramon, and many kibbutzim are among those that have undergone considerable change in recent years due to an influx of newcomers.

Read the rest at Haaretz

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