A Jewish demographic study released by the UJA-Federation of New York on Tuesday reveals that the Jewish community includes nearly half a million Orthodox Jews, almost a third of the entire Jewish population of the eight-county New York area that the federation serves. The study also found that of all the households in the area, one in six is a Jewish household.
The study reveals a 10 percent increase in the Jewish population in New York overall since the previous study in 2002. The UJA-Federation of New York’s Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 reports that there are 1.5 million Jews living in the eight-county New York area it serves, which includes the five boroughs of New York City and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. This population total is more than the Jewish populations of the metropolitan areas of Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco combined.
In addition to the high numbers of Orthodox people, the report reveals that there are about 216,000 Jews living in Russian-speaking households and about 12% of all Jewish households are either biracial or nonwhite.
The report also sites that the reasons for growth in the New York Jewish population has shifted. Historically, growth was fueled by immigration; however, now growth is primarily driven by high birthrates among the Orthodox and haredi (ultra-Orthodox) populations. There are 66,000 more Jews now under 25 than there were in 2002. Other changing factors are increased longevity and an increase in the number of people who consider themselves partially Jewish. There are currently 45,000 more Jews over age 75, in comparison with 2002, and 12% of respondents answered that they consider themselves "partially Jewish."
The spectrum of the population surveyed includes Hasidic, non-Hasidic ultra-Orthodox, Modern Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Reform Jews, as well as nondenominational Jews, self-identified Jews with no religion, people who consider themselves “partially Jewish,” and Jews with another religion. This area is also home to the largest population of single, never-married Jewish adults in the country, a large number of single-parent families, and many large families with four or more children.