Jewish Maps of the United States by Congressional District - revised January 2014

Sponsor(s): Berman Jewish DataBank@The Jewish Federations of North America

Principal Investigator(s): Joshua Comenetz

Study Dates: 2013

Population Estimates:

The estimate of the Jewish population in all Congressional Districts is 6,735,830, approximately 2.18% of the total U.S. population.  This estimate is consistent with the 6.7 million Jewish persons reported in the 2013 Pew Research Center Portrait of Jewish Americans, and almost precisely the same as the estimate of the Jewish population of the U.S. in the forthcoming article on the Jewish population of the United States in The American Jewish Yearbook.

The Excel and GIS files contain estimates of the Jewish population of each of the 436 CDs in effect as of the start of the 113th Congress.  The Jewish estimates range from 30 to 270,000.  New York’s 10th district (parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn) has the largest number of Jewish persons, while the least Jewish district is Oklahoma’s 2nd district in the rural eastern part of the state (see worksheet "2" sorted by estimated Jewish population).

The American Jewish population is simultaneously more densely clustered geographically than the overall American population and very geographically diverse—at least a few Jews live in every one of the 436 CDs.  Half of all American Jews live in just 38 CDs, and 93 CDs contain three-quarters of all Jews.  In contrast, the 266 districts with the fewest Jews collectively have only 10% of the Jewish population.  The most-Jewish district, New York’s 10th, has as many Jews (197,000) as the 192 least-Jewish CDs combined.

There are 12 CDs with 100,000 or more Jews, eight in New York and two each in California and Florida—the three states with the highest total Jewish populations.  In general, the most-Jewish CDs are in the northeastern states, California, Florida, and a few other large urban areas such as Chicago and Atlanta.  The least-Jewish CDs are mostly in the rural parts of southern states.

Because CDs are supposed to have approximately the same number of people nationwide, most CDs have roughly 700,000 people.  This means that the districts with the largest and smallest number of Jews also have the highest and lowest percentages of Jews: 37.6% in New York’s 10th and 0.004% in Oklahoma’s 2nd.  (See worksheet "3" sorted by estimated percentage Jewish within each CD.)

Jews constitute just over 2% of the total U.S. population.  The Jewish population is widely distributed geographically in that more than 40% of all CDs are at least 1% Jewish, but only 22 CDs are 10% or more Jewish.  Jews are also clustered: approximately 80% of all American Jews live in 120 Congressional Districts; the remaining 316 CDs collectively have few Jews.  The 100 CDs with the fewest Jews have only 62,000 combined—not enough to comprise even 10% of a standard Congressisonal District's population if all moved to live in just one of the 100 least-Jewish CDs.

Individual states vary widely in the degree to which Jews are clustered within districts.  In those states with more than a handful of CDs, there are a few in which most Jews live in just one CD.  For example, 62% of the Jews in Missouri live in the 2nd CD (St. Louis area), while the remaining 7 CDs contain just 38% of that state’s Jews (see the first excel worksheet sorted by state).  A similar pattern is found in Georgia, Kentucky, and Oregon.  This is evidently the result of redistricting processes or the tendency of Jews to live in larger urban areas, rather than a regional trend, because individual districts stand out less in most other states around the country.



Key Findings:

The project was partially funded as a 2013 Summer Research Fellowship to Dr. Comenetz by the Berman Jewish DataBank @ The Jewish Federations of North America. Report and maps have been revised as of January 19, 2014 from an earlier version.

Products available for downloading include two maps of the U.S. Jewish population in PDF format, a Summary Report, an excel file, and two large zip files designed for professional researchers and mappers.

The first map, "MAP: Jewish Population of the United States by Congressional District -  Estimated Numbers," visually represents estimates derived by Dr. Comenetz of the number of Jewish persons in the U.S. by U.S. Congressional District based upon multiple sources of data, including Jewish community studies available at the DataBank, the DataBank's Current Jewish Population Report series, and American Community Survey data analyzed by Dr. Comenetz.

The second map visually presents the same data, but in terms of Jewish persons as a percentage of all people living in each U.S. Congressional District.

The "Summary Report" describes the process and the results of the analysis, highlighting major findings.

The Excel file has three internal worksheets summarizing the Jewish population estimate, the 2010 U.S. Census estimate and the percent Jewish in each district.  (1) The first excel worksheet organizes the data for U.S. Congressional Districts alphabetically by state and congressional district within each state; (2) the second worksheet has sorted the file in terms of the total estimated Jewish population within each Congressional District, in descending order, starting with the CD with the highest number of Jewish persons; and, (3) the third worksheet sorts the CDs by the percentage Jewish in each CD, again in descending order from the highest Jewish proportion to the lowest.

Sample Notes:

The estimates of the number of Jewish persons in each Congressional District reflect  the total number of Jewish persons - -  not the number of Jewish voters or eligible Jewish adults.


Study Notes:

The Summary Report describes the process by which the Congressional District estimates were derived by Dr. Comenetz, and the maps created, as well the major highlights of the analysis.  The report  has been produced for both Jewish community professionals and researchers who may want to review the process and procedures used for the estimates reflected in the two maps, as well as a brief summary of the results.

In addition to the Methodological guide to the estimates and the maps, Dr. Comenetz has also made available three data files:

  • First, the data by county in an Excel spreadsheet file format which reflect the methodological and statistical procedures described in the "methodology" overview.
  • Second, a zipped file - "Zipped...for Mapping Specialists (MapInfo)" -  which unzips to to a MAPInfo format GIS map with the data attached, and
  • Third, another zipped file - "Zipped Data...Mapping Specialists (ARCGIS)" -  which unzips to an ArcGIS-format map with the data attached.

Language: English