Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Jewish Population Growth Lags Behind

Shimmy Blum

The results of the 2010 United States Census are in. While the numbers reflect the solid growth of many of America’s minority groups, the Jews are not sharing in that growth. One prominent Jewish demographer contends that the Jewish downward spiral is due to some of the most dire, well-known threats that face our people.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

While the United States prides itself as the world’s economic and military superpower, its population growth is surprisingly anemic.

The newly released preliminary results of the 2010 census pegs the nation’s population at roughly 308 million, a 9.7 percent rise over the 2000 census’ count of 281 million; the lowest growth rate since the Great Depression.

The Census Bureau has yet to release exact sector breakdowns, but it is clear that minorities, particularly Hispanics, comprise a substantially larger percentage of the US population. Since 2000, minority groups’ population grew five times as fast whites. Roughly 13 million of the nation’s 27 million new residents are immigrants, mainly Hispanic. And the census didn’t even get a full count of the predominantly Hispanic illegal immigrant population.

One prominent American minority bucked the growth trend: the Jewish Nation. Its share of the population remained stuck around 2 percent. Though the census form didn’t include a box to check off one’s religion, several Jewish demographers and organizations have tracked American Jewish population data for decades based on several surveys. According to the National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS), America was home to 5.2 million Jews in 2000. Various estimates of the 2010 count were presented at the recent Association for Jewish Studies conference in Boston. Hebrew University demographer Sergio Della Pergola pegged the count at 5.3 million Jews, placing it behind the Israeli Jewish population of roughly 5.7 million.

However, two other analysts, each using a different methodology, came up with higher counts. Leonard Saxe, director of the Steinhardt Social Research Institute at Brandeis University, and Dr. Ira Sheskin, director of the Jewish Demography Project at the University of Miami, both estimate the Jewish population at roughly 6.5 million.

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without