Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and its largest city. Historically, Jerusalem's economy was supported almost exclusively by religious pilgrims, as it was located far from the major ports of Jaffa and Gaza. Jerusalem's religious landmarks today remain the top draw for foreign visitors, with the majority of tourists visiting the Western Wall and the Old City. The government, cantered in Jerusalem, generates a large number of jobs, and offers subsidies and incentives for new business initiatives and start-ups. Israel is in the Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Lebanon. Temperate; hot and dry in southern and eastern desert areas. Negev desert in the south; low coastal plain; central mountains; Jordan Rift Valley. The official languages are Hebrew and Arabic. English is also widely spoken. The main religions are Judaism, Islam. The economy of Israel, despite limited natural resources, has seen intensive development of the agricultural and industrial sectors over the past decades which has made Israel largely self-sufficient in food production, apart from grains and beef. The security risk for expatriates in Israel is generally low to medium. Risks include militant terrorist attacks, arbitrary rocket fire, petty crime such as theft, and poor standards of driving. Expatriates should be cautious not to offend local cultures and religious sensitivities with regard to dress and behaviour. The population in Jerusalem is 1.029 Mil (2014 est.), while the inflation rate is 0.5% (2014 est.).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates in Jerusalem as at 1 October 2015 is very high in comparison to other places in the world. In Jerusalem, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average in USD, is categorized follows: 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: High 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: Very Low 4) Education: Average 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: High 7) Healthcare: Very High 8) Household Accommodation: High 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very High 11) Recreation & Culture: Very High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Jerusalem is for example 7.4% more expensive than Montevideo for groceries, 15% more expensive for household costs than Durban, and 36.6% more expensive for transport costs than Athens. Jerusalem is ranked as a high degree of hardship location. Hardship (also know as quality of living) refers to the degree of hardship an expatriate and their family are likely to experience in the host location. Hardship pay is compensation to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. In determining the amount of hardship premium payable, factors such as economic, political, religious, infrastructure, environment/climate, personal safety, health, education, and transportation factors are considered. The hardship premium for Jerusalem for an expat from Zurich is for example 20%, i.e. host location (Jerusalem) premium of 30% minus home (Zurich) location premium of 10%. Xpatulator.com has been created to assist subscribers calculate expatriate pay using the online calculators and extensive database of cost of living and hardship indexes, for 780 international locations. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship or expat pay in Jerusalem? Register subscribe to your home location and Jerusalem and run your personalised reports.