The Jewish population in the United States is significantly larger than previously estimated.
In the presentation “U.S. Jewry 2010: Estimates of the Size and Characteristics of the Population,” given at the Association for Jewish Studies meeting in Boston on December 20th, Leonard Saxe (Klutznick Professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies) reported that rather than declining, the Jewish population has been increasing since 1990.
NJPS 2000-01, the last national Jewish population study sponsored by the United Jewish Communities (currently, the Jewish Federations of North America), found that the U.S. Jewish population had declined by 300,000 during the 1990-2000 period.
Saxe and his colleagues found that the Jewish population has actually risen from about 5.5 million individuals in 1990 to an estimated 6.5 million as of 2010, an increase of nearly 20%.
The new population data were drawn from a synthesis of data from more than 150 nationwide surveys conducted by the U.S. government and other agencies as well as national polling organizations.
All of the surveys included standard questions about religious and ethnic identity and had national samples of respondents. Together, the surveys included responses from more than 400,000 individuals.