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Studies of the Jewish Communities in San Diego County 1979

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of San Diego County, The Jewish Community Center and The United Jewish Federation of San Diego, California

Principal Investigator(s): D.B. Rosen

Population Estimates: The 1979 Report estimates that there are 30,000 people in San Diego County and 21,000 in San Diego City living in slightly over 8,000 Jewish households. These estimates, defined as the “Jewish population,” include Jewish persons and non-Jewish persons; n
Key Findings: Report title: 1979 Long Range Planning Report: Studies of the Jewish Communities in San Diego County and the North City Area of San Diego.
  • Report is almost totally demographic in orientation, comparing data on households selected from the Federation list with the general San Diego population. No mention of intermarriage, Jewish education, etc. in data analysis.
  • The estimated Jewish population of San Diego county comprises about 2.0% of the total population of the county, similar to the national estimates.

  • The Jewish population is dispersed widely across the county of San Diego. The city of San Diego has a Jewish population density of 65.7 per square mile, which is quite low compared to many other cities.

  • The average family size for Jewish households was calculated to be 2.3 persons (1.6 adults and 0.3 children per family).This average was 3.1 persons per household only 5 years ago. This change may be due to factors such as an increasing number of single people and single-parent families, as well as in-migration of seniors. For families that have children, the average number of children was 1.9 per family.

  • The proportion of people in San Diego Jewish households aged 18-30 is much lower than that found in the general population. Also, a larger proportion of the Jewish population is above the age of 65 as compared to the general population.

  • The majority of the Jewish population were managers or professionals (59%). However, this figure was about 75% only 4 years previous (in the 1975 San Diego survey).

  • Most (62%) stated that they did not want to become more involved in the Jewish community. The most common reasons stated for this was that they were already involved in enough Jewish activities (38%), that they did not have time (23%), that they are alone and too old to get out (20%), and that they just did not have any interest in becoming more involved (16%).

  • About 49% of respondents were members of a synagogue, and 51% were not.

  • Chapter IV of the report focuses specifically on Jews residing in the North City area of San Diego. About 19% of all Jews in San Diego County reside within this area.

  • Appendix A: Questionnaire for telephone interview

  • Appendix B compares some basic Jewish survey demographic characteristics with data from San Diego general population

  • Appendix C describes procedures for estimation of Jewish households and Jewish "population." This method uses the umber of names on the Federation List and extrapolates from the List using a coefficient developed by Fred Massarick for 1975 San Diego which extrapolates number of Jewish households on Federation list to the estimated total number in the community.
Sample: Sampling based only on 8,010 households on the United Jewish Federation mailing list.

Sample Size: A total of 317 interviews were completed within the San Diego city area, while an additional 381 interviews were completed in other areas of San Diego County. Households were randomly selected from the UJF mailing list.

Sample Notes: The UJF mailing list was compiled from all the Jewish social service agencies, synagogues, many clubs plus many non-affiliated individuals, and is not restricted to individuals who contributed to the UJF.

The 1975 San Diego Jewish Population Study is a sampling study which utilized telephone interviews with respondents. Researchers had access to unlisted home phone numbers, which help to avoid possible problems which may have resulted from a skewed sample. Either the person or the spouse of the person named on the UJF list was considered an acceptable respondent.

Study Notes: This report is actually two studies: a county-wide study, and a regional study of the North City area, including the communities of Pacific Beach, La Jolla, University City and Del Mar.

The study is based solely on the UJF list, and therefore, the population estimate most likely does not reflect accurately non-affiliated Jews in San Diego.

Interested readers should see the previous 1975 San Diego Jewish community study by Fred Massarik, and the 2003 San Diego study conducted by Ukeles Associates, Inc., which estimated a total of 89,000 Jewish persons living in 46,000 Jewish households in San Diego County.

Data file will not be available for this study.


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