The Jewish Population of Greater New York [1981]: A Profile

Sponsor(s): Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, UJA-Federation of New York

Principal Investigator(s): Paul Ritterband, Steven M. Cohen

Population Estimates:

1,670,700 Jewish persons live in the eight-county area: New York City, and the suburban counties of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester. Total number of Jewish households is 699,800.

Key Findings:
  • Jewish persons constitute 16% of total population in study area; 31% of all non-Hispanic whites;


  • New York City Jewish population is 1,133,100, with an additional 537,600 Jews living in the suburban counties; 32% of Jewish population lived in suburbs, a dramatic increase since the 18% estimate in 1957;


  • Brooklyn's Jewish population was 2,230,900, 25% of the eight-county total;


  • 13% of Jewish household heads self-identify as Orthodox, 35% as Conservative, 29% as Reform;


  • Approximately 2 of 5 households reports synagogue affiliation;

Jewish Households in Greater New York area: the five boroughs of New York City (The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island) and three suburban New York State counties: Nassau, Suffolk, Westchster.

Sample Size: 4,505 respondents in New York Jewish households in 1981. Researchers used a combination of telephone interviews and mail questionnaires.

Sample Notes:

Sampling frame was a combination of a modified RDD (random digit dialing) and DJN (Distinctive Jewish Names). RDD calls restricted to exchanges which included 90% of DJNs telephone numbers. Methodological details in Appendix.

Data were gathered from 4,505 respondents in Jewish households; RDD telephone quota was 2,661 and all were contacted via telephone; DJN households were originally mailed a questionnaire, with four followups; part of the DJN sample was contacted by telephone afterwards, with a 35% completed interview rate.

Data file is not currently available.


Survey Reports

» The Greater Jewish Population of New York, 1981

» 1981 The Social Characteristics of the New York Area Jewish Community

» Staten Island NY 1981

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Questionnaire

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