American Jewish Population Project
In conjunction with American Jewish Population Estimates: 2012, SSRI has developed the American Jewish Population Project, an innovative effort to map the Jewish population in the United States. This project is intended to allow comparative analyses nationally and locally, as well as over time. Visit AJPP.
Tighe, E., Saxe, L., Kadushin, C., Magidin de Kramer, R., Nursahedov, B., Aronson, J., et al.
(2011). Estimating the Jewish Population of the United States: 2000-2010. Waltham, MA: Steinhardt Social Research Institute, Brandeis University.
Tighe, E., Livert, D., Barnett, M. & Saxe, L. (2010). Cross-Survey Analysis to Estimate Low-Incidence Religious Groups, Sociological Methods and Research, Sociological Methods and Research 39 (1): 56-82.
Saxe, L., & Tighe, E. (2013). Estimating and understanding the Jewish population in the United States: A program of research. Contemporary Jewry, 33(1-2), 43-62.
Saxe, L., Tighe, E., & Boxer, M. (In press). Measuring the size and characteristics of American
Jewry: A new paradigm to understand an ancient people. In U. Rebhun (Ed.), Studies in
Contemporary Jewry (Vol. XVIII). New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
American Jewish Population Estimates: 2012
In an effort to develop reliable estimates of the size and characteristics of the American Jewish population, the SSRI has used a data synthesis approach to yield estimates of the proportion of U.S. adults who claim Judaism as their religion, the number of secular/cultural Jews (i.e., Jews who identify other than by religion), and the number of children. The accumulated evidence indicates that the U.S. Jewish population is substantially larger than previously estimated.
Among the findings:
There are an estimated 6.8 million Jewish adults and children in the United States
- 4.2 million adults self-identify as Jewish when asked about their religion
- Nearly 1 million adults consider themselves Jewish by background and other criteria
- There are an estimated 1.6 million Jewish children
The U.S. Jewish population is concentrated in a few number of states and metropolitan areas
- Over 60% of American Jews live in just six states. Slightly over 20% resides in New York State, 14% in California, followed by 12% in Florida; 8% in New Jersey; and 5% each in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
- The largest percentage reside in New York City (13%), Southern Florida (8.6%), New York suburban areas (7%), Los Angeles area (7%).
- Additional centers include the region around Boston, Northern New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington DC and suburbs
Among adults who self-identify as Jewish by religion
- Just over 1 million (24%) are aged 65 years and older
- They are more than twice as likely as other Americans to be college graduates
Read Technical Appendices
- Appendix A: List of Surveys
- Appendix B: Population Estimates: Jewish Adults by Religion by State, 2012
- Appendix C: Population Estimates: Jewish Adults by Religion, Metro and Non‐Metro Areas by State, 2012
- Appendix D: Population Estimates: Jewish Adults by Religion by County Cluster, 2012
- Appendix E: Cross-Survey Population Model Specification and Parameter Estimates