Yesha Communities Lead Population Growth in Israel


Jewish population of Judea and Samaria growing three times as fast as the rest of the country (2008 update) 

The Jewish population in Yesha is growing three times as fast as the the rest of the country and has doubled over the past 12 years, according to an extensive demographic study published by the Ariel University Center in Samaria (the College of Judea and Samaria).

Settlement residents tend to be healthier, have a higher income and are more likely to be employed than other Israelis, and their children are more likely to do well on the matriculation exams than their counterparts who live within the Green Line, according to the 240-page study.

On the demographic front, the study states that in the last 12 years the Yesha population has grown by 107

percent, from 130,000 people in 1995 to 270,000 people in 2007, compared with 29% growth in the rest of the country.

In the last three years, from 2005 to 2007, the growth has been three times as high as elsewhere, 5% a year compared to 1.7%.

Most of the settlement residents are native Israelis, 82.6%, compared with 69.5% in the rest of the country.

Yesha residents are more likely to work. Some 62% of the population participates in the work force compared with 56% elsewhere. Similarly, unemployment is lower - 6.5% in Judea and Samaria compared with 7.3% in the rest of the country.

Some 71.2% of Yesha teens who take the matriculation exams earn a matriculation certificate, compared to 65.8% in the rest of the country.

Yesha residents were more likely to describe themselves as healthy, 91% compared with 73% within the Green Line, and to state that they were satisfied with their lives - 92.3% compared to 83% in the rest of the country.

Jerusalem Post (Dec 15, 2008)


In 2002, the population in communities in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip grew three times as fast as in Israel overall.

April 2003, based on statistics released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics

The population in Yesha grew by 5.7 percent in 2002, compared to an overall population growth of 1.9 percent in Israel. This 5.7 percent growth in Yesha for 2002 is up from its 5 percent level in the previous year. See the chart below for relative growth in 2000-2002.

CBS chart depicting relative growth of different sectors in Israel during 2000-20002,

Of the twelve Israeli municipalities to shrink in population size in 2002, only one is located in Yesha (Emanuel).

Despite the on-going war of terror, however, the overriding majority of towns in Yesha (70%) experienced population growth above the national average!
 In order of percent growth, they are:

        * Ofra (2.3%)
        * Kedumim (2.4%)
        * Beit Arye (2.5%)
        * Ariel (2.5%)
        * Maaleh Adumim (2.9%)
        * Shaarei Tikva (3.5%)
        * Neve Dekalim (3.9%)
        * Alfei Menashe (4.2%)
        * Efrata (4.4%)
        * Alon Shvut (4.8%)
        * Beit El (5.7%)
        * Modiin Illit (Kiryat Sefer) (14.3%)
        * Beitar Illit (16.3%)
        * Kochav Yaakov (33.4%)

Among the top four fastest growing municipalities in Israel, only one is not located in Yesha. Communities in Yesha placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th!

Despite attacks and pressure, settlements continue to grow

By: Gil Sedan
JERUSALEM, April 30, 2002 (JTA) 

Thirty-four years after the first Israeli settlement was established in Hebron, the Jewish settlement network in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continues to grow. As of February, 2002, the settler population was estimated at 230,000, having approximately doubled in the past decade. The figures were confirmed by both the left-wing Peace Now movement and the settler´s Yesha Council.  

These figures do not include some 170,000 Jews living in Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem. These territories also were annexed to Israel after the Six-Day War, but some Palestinians consider residents there as settlers.

Roughly half of the settlers live in large population areas such as Ariel (population 15,600) in the northern West Bank, Ma´aleh Adumim (24,900) and the group of settlements known as the Etzion bloc near Jerusalem, and Kiryat Arba (6,380) near Hebron. 

Almost, all Israeli governments, Labor and Likud alike, have built settlements since 1967. In some cases, the settlements constituted a return to land that was owned by Jews until Arabs killed or exiled the Jewish residents, as in Hebron in the 1929 riots or Gush Etzion in the 1948 War of Independence. ... 

Figures released last year by the Central Bureau of Statistics showed a sharp decrease in the annual growth rate of Jewish settlers to 4.4 percent last year, compared to an average of 8 percent in each of the five preceding years. According to the CBS, the net increase of settlers was only 2,500, compared to 5,000 to 7,000 in each of the 10 preceding years.

According to the Yesha Council of Jewish settlements, however, only 3,000 settlers - comprising roughly 1.4 percent of the settler population - left the settlements during 2001, despite the massive wave of terror the Palestinians have directed at settlers since the intifada began in September 2000.

This exodus was more than offset by natural increase and an influx of new residents, enabling the settler population to grow at a rate of 5 percent during this time, according to Yesha figures.

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