Internal Migration in Israel

Uzi Rebhun , Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Sergio Dellapergola, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

This paper analyses spatial movement in Israel. It presents original findings for this country’s annual internal migration. Aggregate crude migration intensity has fluctuated over time. Years of exceptionally strong migration intensity are explained by the relocation of immigrants from the former Soviet Union from initial temporary to permanent residence. Crude migration intensity is lower than ACMI and sharper in resolution, reflecting, among other things, the effects of macro factors. Inter-district migration caused five districts to lose population in favor of the Central District – a large ring around Tel Aviv, the country’s financial and cultural hub. Linear regressions show that while in the past less densely populated areas gained from internal migration, more recently this outcome been reversed. We explain the findings in general and also account for differences between Jews and non-Jews. In this context, the West Bank has constituted another area featuring constantly positive balances of migrants from other areas of Israel. We raise the question whether movement of Jews to the West Bank occurs for ideological reasons or pertains to a broader flow of external migration from Israel. We examine the impact of Israel's economic conjuncture on the propensity to migrate to the West Bank, and the amount of correlation that prevails between internal migration to the West Bank and emigration from Israel.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy