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Brandeis University Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies

September 2019

Jewish Population Estimates: Jewish Young Adults Ages 22 to 32 Research Brief Prepared for Moishe House A Project of the American Jewish Population Project


Š 2019 Brandeis University Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies www.brandeis.edu/cmjs The Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies (CMJS), founded in 1980, is dedicated to providing independent, high-quality research on issues related to contemporary Jewish life. The Cohen Center is also the home of the Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI). Established in 2005, SSRI uses innovative research methods to collect and analyze sociodemographic data on the Jewish community.


Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 1 Key Findings ........................................................................................................................ 1 Methodology....................................................................................................................... 2 National Estimates .............................................................................................................. 3 Major Metropolitan Areas Estimates ................................................................................. 3 Outside Major Metropolitan Areas Estimates .................................................................... 5 Summary ............................................................................................................................. 5

Table 1: Demographics of Jewish adults ages 22 to 32, 2019 ............................................ 3 Figure 1: Proportion of Jewish adults (ages 22 to 32) out of total population (ages 22-32 adults) for selected metro-areas ................................................................................ 4


Moishe House, a global leader in peer-led Jewish young adult engagement, operates a network of 80+ house locations across the United States and reaches tens of thousands of young adults each year. Communities range from major metropolitan areas with multiple Moishe House locations, such as New York City (9) and Chicago (6), to smaller cities with a single Moishe House, such as Phoenix and Boulder. One measure of the success of the organization is whether the Moishe House network is reaching the target group of Jewish young adults between the ages of 22 to 32 in the communities where they reside. There is, however, a lack of consistent data with which to evaluate this basic metric. Many local Jewish community studies lack the geographic coverage to estimate the target Jewish population reliably, and/or data from these studies may be a decade or more old. This research brief provides a summary of estimates of Jewish young adults in the United States based on the most recent (2019) data from the American Jewish Population Project (AJPP). The AJPP data synthesis directly estimates adults who identify their religion as Jewish and adjusts for the proportion of adults who say they are Jewish some other way. Where sufficient sample size is available, the brief provides population estimates at the county level. Where the sample size falls below the minimum to estimate the population reliably, we provide estimates for groups of counties. Detailed tables are included in an accompanying Excel workbook.1 These tables summarize data on the target age group for all US counties or county groups. The tables also include information on the total US adult population age 18 and over and ages 22-32.

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Jewish young adults ages 22 to 32 comprise just over 16% – or about 964,000 – of all Jewish adults in the United States. This proportion varies by county group, ranging from about 8% of Jewish adults in the outlying county group surrounding Fort Lauderdale, FL to 30% in the Philadelphia county area.

Overall, 63% of Jewish adults ages 22-32 have a college degree.

The top US metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago are home to about 293,000 Jewish adults ages 22 to 32, or about 30% of all Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 in the United States. Within these areas, the proportion of Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 out of all Jewish adults ranges from about 21% in Los Angeles to 13% in the Nassau and Westchester county area of New York.

As a proportion of US adults ages 22 to 32, Jewish young adults in this target age group constitute about 2% of the population. Some areas have a rate several times higher than the

See MoisheHouse_JewishPopEstimates_Ages22to32_2019.xlsx

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national proportion, such as Manhattan where an estimated 13% (~45,000) of the population of 22 to 32 year olds are Jewish. 

In the majority (56%) of areas estimated by AJPP, Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 constitute less than 1% of US adults in the same age group. However, Jewish adults in these areas total fewer than one in five (~158,000) of all Jewish adults ages 22 to 32.

This report summarizes the key steps taken to generate the population estimates for each county or county group.

The AJPP provides ongoing and updated demographic profiles of the US Jewish population for the nation, states, metropolitan areas, and counties within the United States. (Saxe & Tighe, 2005, 2013; Tighe, Livert, Barnett, & Saxe, 2010). The data synthesis itself yields estimates of Jewish adults in the United States based on an analysis of hundreds of independent data sources that assess the religious identification of all US adults. Supplemental sources of data, such as local community studies, are used to adjust for the portion of the Jewish population that is not reflected in assessments of religious identification. Counties (or groups of counties) are the lowest level of geography for which reliable population estimates can be obtained through current data synthesis methods. This analysis uses these counties or groups of counties to estimate the target population of young adults ages 22 to 32. Estimates of Jewish adults who do not identify their religion as Jewish (but consider themselves Jewish in other ways) are not directly estimated using the data synthesis method, but instead are based on any available local community Jewish population studies or the Pew survey of Jewish Americans (Pew Research Center, 2013). Using these sources, we can identify the additional proportion of the Jewish adult population in each geographic area and then apply that number to the baseline population estimate of adults obtained through the data synthesis. Estimates for Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 are included in the accompanying workbook, MoisheHouse_JewishPopEstimates_Ages22to32_2019.xlsx. This workbook includes a table containing the total number of Jewish adults in the contiguous United States as well as demographics including sex, race and ethnicity, and educational attainment. A second worksheet provides a table of estimates of Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 organized by AJPP county group areas. Included are estimates for the population of adults who say there are Jewish when asked about their religion as well as total population estimates that include adjustments for other Jewish adults ages 22 to 32. The table also displays the percentage of the total Jewish population that is between the ages 22 to 32. Also included for reference is census information on the total adult population and number of adults ages 22 to 32 in each geographic area.

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The AJPP estimates that approximately 724,000 adults in the United States (or about 1.5%) identify their religion as Jewish. Adjusting for other adults ages 22 to 32 who say they are Jewish in some other way brings the estimated total to 2% or about 964,000 (see Table 1).2

Notes: 1) Estimates of Jewish adults who identify as Jewish by religion 2) Includes adjustments for Jewish adults who do not identify as Jewish by religion. Estimates are of adults living in households and do not include persons living in group quarters (e.g., college residence halls, residential treatment centers, skilled nursing facilities, group homes, military barracks, correctional facilities, and workers’ dormitories).

Nationally, Jewish adults in the target age group are similar to the overall Jewish adult population ages 18 and older on various demographics. For example, about 12% of Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 identify their race or ethnicity as non-white or Hispanic, which is comparable to all Jewish adults. Similarly, there is no difference in the proportion of Jews ages 22 to 32 and all Jewish adults ages 25+ based on the proportion with a college degree or higher (~63%). Some areas may have a rate several times higher or somewhat lower than the national proportion. The number of Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 as a proportion of all Jewish adults 18 and over also varies in county groups across the United States.

The “New York Metro” area consists of estimates for the five boroughs—Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Also included are estimates for Long Island (Suffolk County), Nassau, and Westchester and Putnam counties. There are an estimated 169,600 Jewish Estimates of the total Jewish adult population for the U.S. overall may differ somewhat from the sum over all counties or county groups due to differences in the adjustments for other Jewish adults applied to national and county group estimates. 2

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adults between the ages of 22 to 32 across all counties within the New York metropolitan area. Jewish adults vary as a proportion of all adults ages 22 to 32 by county, from a low of 2% of all adults in the Bronx to 13% in Manhattan (see Figure 1). Los Angeles has the largest number of Jewish adults ages 22 to 32, with an estimated 81,000, however, this number represents just under 5% of all adults in the target age group in Los Angeles County. Palm Beach is home to an estimated 20,000 Jewish adults ages 22 to 32, representing approximately 11% of all adults in the county. The Greater Boston area (Middlesex, Suffolk, and Norfolk counties) have a combined estimated 37,000 Jewish adults ages 22 to 32, ranging from 5% of all adults in Suffolk and Norfolk counties to nearly 7% in Middlesex County.

NEW YORK METRO AREA

BRONX

2.1

SUFFOLK

6.1

STATEN ISLAND & QUEENS

6.5

NASSAU & WESTCHESTER

10.8

MANHATTAN

13.4

BROOKLYN

10.4

SUFFOLK AND GREATER BOSTON COUNTIES, MA

5.4

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, MA

6.7

PALM BEACH

10.8

FORT LAUDERDALE

8.7

WASHINGTON DC

7.0

SAN FRANCISCO, SAN MATEO & MARIN COUNTIES

4.7

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

4.8

PHILADELPHIA

5.2 <1

2.0

4.0

6.0

8.0

10.0

12.0

14.0

16.0

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In Alabama, the Birmingham area has an estimated population of just 1,000 Jewish adults ages 22 to 32, representing less than 1% of all adults in the area. The total estimated population of Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 in the whole state of Alabama is fewer than 3,000. In areas such as Houston and San Diego the estimated proportion of Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 is low (<1% and 1.5%, respectively), but the number of Jewish adults is robust, with about 7,000 Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 in Houston and 8,400 estimates in San Diego.

Estimates of Jewish adults in the target age group of ages 22 to 32 range from lows of 400 to 500 in areas such as Sioux City and the surrounding counties region and the Northern counties region in Mississippi, to a high of 81,000 in Los Angeles and more than 48,000 in areas such as Brooklyn. For nearly one quarter of AJPP county groups, the estimated proportion of Jewish adults in the target age group is higher than the national proportion of 1.5%. These estimates provide a baseline population of Jewish adults ages 22 to 32 that can help programs targeting this age group understand their reach and approximate market share.

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Jewish Population Estimates: Jewish Young Adults Ages 22 to 32  

Research Brief Prepared for Moishe House by the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University A Project...

Jewish Population Estimates: Jewish Young Adults Ages 22 to 32  

Research Brief Prepared for Moishe House by the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University A Project...