It is an almost exclusively Haredi town, with a very high percentage of immigrants from North America and Europe.
Kiryat Ye'arim is located approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) west of Jerusalem, just north of the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway. Neighboring Kiryat Ye'arim to the northeast is the Circassian town of Abu Ghosh.
Kiryat Ye'arim is between 661.8 and 749.5 meters above sea level.
Kiryat Ye'arim (Town of Forests) is named for a town of the same name mentioned in the Bible in relation to King David's transport of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. Here the Ark was said to have rested for 20 years. David then removed it to Jerusalem (I Chron 13, 5-8). There are those who believe that a nearby tell is the remains of the biblical town. Another theory is that the biblical town is the present Abu Ghosh.