Jerusalem Has It

In the 18 years since reunification, Jerusalem has become the largest city in Israel with the largest Jewish population, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

At the end of 1984, the population of Jerusalem stood at 445,000 of whom 320,000 are Jewish and about 125,000 non-Jewish. The population of Tel Aviv-Jaffa was 323,000 of which 313,000 are Jews. But Tel Aviv and its commuter suburbs — Petach Tikva, Ramat Gan, Givatayim — constitute the country’s largest urban area with a population of 800,000.

Tel Aviv, founded in 1904 by Jews from the Arab town of Jaffa, held for generations the distinction of being the only all-Jewish city in the world and was by far the largest city in Israel when independence was declared in 1948. The incorporation of Jaffa into the municipality deprived it of its all-Jewish status.

The population of Haifa has been declining since 1979 and now numbers fewer than 225,000. This may be due in part to the decline in sea travel. During the heyday of the ocean liner Haifa was Israel’s chief port of entry for tourists and business travellers. Now virtually all travellers arrive and depart by air.

According to the Central Bureau, Israel has II cities with over 100,000 population. The country’s urban population totaled 1,938,000 at the end of 1984, 46 percent of the national population.

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