JERUSALEM (Aug. 2)
The growth rate of the Jewish population in Jerusalem is declining steadily despite government policies aimed at increasing the number of Jews who live in the capital. Housing and Construction Minister Gideon Patt, who toured the city’s new neighborhoods yesterday, projected a 2.3 percent growth rate this year. But he said a 3.7 percent rate is needed to maintain the present ratio of Jews to Arabs which is 73-27 percent.
The rate has not been as high as 3.7 percent since 1973. Patt said his ministry would make every effort to raise it to that level. He also noted that in the last 10 years, the Housing Ministry built 14,800 flats in Jerusalem, 11,100 of them in new neighborhoods.