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American Public Opinion Polls:
American Jewish Identity Survey - 2001


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JBC=Jew by Choice
JBR=Jewish by Religion
JNR=Of Jewish Parents & No Religion
JOR=Of Jewish Parents & Now of Other Religion
GA=No Jewish Adult in Head of Household & Only a Child of Jewish Parentage

Adult Population Classifed as Jewish by Four Selection Criteria (Unweighted Sample and Weighted Population Estimate)

  N % N %
Religion 618 51 2,800,000 51
Parentage (not religion) 528 43 2,200,000 40
Upbringing (not parent/religion) 28 2 164,000 3
Considering Self Jewish only 41 4 203,000 4
(Institutional estimate)     110,000 2
TOTAL 1,215 100 5,497,000 100

Core Jewish Population 1990 & 2001

Jewish Identity Category 1990 % 2001 %
Jewish Parent: Religion Judaism 3,365,000 (3,137,000) 61 2,760,000 52
No Jewish Parent: Religion Judaism 174,000 3 170,000 3
Jewish Parent: No Religion 813,000 15 1,120,000 21
  CHILDREN (Under age 18)      
Jew by Religion 856,000 16 700,000 13
Jew No Religion 307,000 5 590,000 11
         
TOTAL - ALL AGES 5,515,000 100 5,340,000 100

Jewish & Jewish Origins Populations 1990 & 2001

Jewish Identity Category 1990   2001  
  Number % Number %
Core Jews (all ages) 5,515,000 81 5,340,000 69
Adults of Jewish Parentage: Other Religions 625,000 9 1,470,000 19
Children of Jewish Parentage: Other Religions 707,000 10 880,000 12
Jweish & Jewish Origins Populations 6,847,000 100 7,690,000 100

Percentage of America's Jewish Adults 2001

AJIS 2001 JBR JNR JOR
  N=2,930,000 N=1,120,000 1,470,000
Jewish Parentage Percent Percent Percent
Both Parents 78 37 7
Mother Only 6 21 27
Halakhically Jewish (84) (58) (34)
Father only 3 25 28
Neither, Refusal, Don't Know 13 17 37
Total 100 100 100

Total Adult Population With a Jewish Mother = 3,610,000

Total American Jewish & Kindred Population 1990 & 2001 (Weighted Data)

Jewish Identity Category NJPS 1990   NJPS 2001  
ADULT POPULATION Number Cum. Percent Number Cum. Percent.
Jewish Parentage & Jewish Religion 3,365,000 41 2,760,000 28
Not Jewish parentage, but of Jewish religion 174,000   170,000  
Jewish by Religion (Regardless of Parentage) 3,539,000 43 2,930,000 30
Jewish Parentage & No Religion 813,000   1,120,000  
Adult Core Jewish Population 4,352,000 53 4,050,000 41
Jewish Parentage & Other Religion 625,000   1,465,000  
Total Adult Jewish Origin + Jewish Population 4,977,000 61 5,515,000 56
CHILD POPULATION        
Core Jewish Parent's Religion Judaism 856,000   700,000  
Core Jewish Parent of No Religion 307,000   590,000  
Core Jewish or Jewish Ancestry Parent of Other Religion 700,000   880,000  
TOTAL JEWISH ORIGIN + JEWISH CHILDREN 1,863,000 83 2,170,000 78
         
Non-Jewish Adults in HHs with Core Jewish & Jewish Origins Population 1,350,000   2,165,000  
TOTAL PERSONS IN QUALIFYING JEWISH HOUSEHOLDS 8,200,000 100 9,850,000 100

Socio-Demographic Profile of Adult Jewish Identity Types

Social Characteristics JBR - Jews by Religion JNR - Jews No Religion JOR - Jews of Other Religions
Number of Adults 2,930,000 1,120,000 1,470,000
Proportion of Male/Female 49/51 52/48 45/55
Median Age 51 years 44 years 42 years
Percent married 59 45 59
Percent of Married with Jewish Spouse 77 16 Not applicable
Percent College graduates 58 57 36

Percent Employed F-T

Percent Employed P-T

49

13

56

13

63

13

Percent Registered Voters 85 76 85
Percent Democrat vs. Republican 55/13 41/13 28/40
Percent Own Their Home 77 67 69
Median annual Households Income $72,000 $58,000 $54,000
Region of Residence      
Percent in Northeast 43 26 20
Percent in South 26 31 36
Percent in Midwest 10 9 13
Percent in West 21 34 31

Regional Distribution of Core Jewish Population

Region NJPS 1990 AJIS 2001
Northeast 44 38
South 22 27
Midwest 11 12
West 23 23
Total 100 100

Outlook of Jews by Religion and Adherents of Selected Other Religious Groups

<<<<<OUTLOOK SCALE>>>>>

RELIGIOUS GROUP Secular Somewhat secular Somewhat religious Religious TOTAL
Assemblies of God 0 3 20 72 1,106,000
Churches of Christ 0 3 30 65 2,603,000
Methodist 1 5 51 42 14,150,000
Mormon 2 7 21 68 2,787,000
7th Day Adventist 3 4 19 73 724,000
Baptist 3 4 37 54 33,830,000
Lutheran 3 7 48 41 9,580,000
UCC/Congregationalist 4 5 55 34 1,378,000
Jehovah's Witnesses 4 5 55 34 1,331,000
Catholic 6 7 50 33 50,873,000
Episcopalian 7 8 52 32 3,451,000
Buddhist 7 15 46 24 1,082,000
Muslim 9 9 49 32 1,104,000
Jews by Religion 27 17 42 11 2,831,000
Jews of No Religion* 52 12 17 6 1,120,000
No religion (non-Jews) 40 13 28 8 28,361,000
           
U.S. Total Adults 10 6 38 37 208,000,000

*NOTE: Jews of No Religion includes people who are Jewish by virtue of parentage or upbringing, but when asked about their religion, they answer “none.”

Belief that God Performs Miracles: Jews by Religion and Adherents of Selected Other Religious Groups*

* Asked only of those who said "God exists."

<<<<<BELIEF SCALE>>>>>

RELIGIOUS GROUP Disagree strongly Disagree somewhat Agree somewhat Agree strongly TOTAL
Assemblies of God 0 1 1 98 1,106,000
Churches of Christ 5 2 15 77 2,603,000
Methodist 2 4 18 74 14,150,000
Mormon 1 3 7 88 2,787,000
7th Day Adventist 0 1 1 98 724,000
Baptist 1 1 8 90 33,830,000
Lutheran 2 5 22 69 9,580,000
UCC/Congregationalist 0 13 31 54 1,378,000
Jehovah's Witnesses 5 4 13 54 1,331,000
Catholic 1 4 22 69 50,873,000
Episcopalian 3 6 28 59 3,451,000
Buddhist 9 11 40 41 1,082,000
Muslim 3 6 14 72 1,104,000
Jews by Religion 11 17 31 36 2,831,000
No religion (non-Jews) 7 11 31 47 29,481,000
           
U.S. Total Adults 2 4 18 73 208,000,000

Belief Indicators by Type of Jewish Classification

Religious Orientation Indicators Qualifying Adults      
  JBR JNR JOR Total
  2,930,000 1,120,000 1,470,000 5,520,000
Do you agree or disagree that God exists        
Disagree strongly 5 17 3 7
Disagree somewhat 9 6 1 7
Agree somewhat 23 29 14 22
Agree strongly 54 34 80 56
DK/RF (not determined) 9 13 2 8
         
Do you agree or disagree that 'God helps me?' NOTE: THIS QUESTION WAS ONLY ASKED OF THOSE WHO AGREED THAT "GOD EXISTS"      
Disagree strongly 15 32 2 16
Disagree somewhat 15 10 6 13
Agree somewhat 25 20 13 21
Agree strongly 34 20 76 41
DK/RF (not determined) 10 18 3 9
         
“Do you agree or disagree that ‘God
performs miracles?’”
NOTE: THIS QUESTION WAS ONLY ASKED OF THOSE WHO AGREED THAT "GOD EXISTS"      
Disagree strongly 11 11   7
Disagree somewhat 17 21 8 15
Agree somewhat 31 28 14 25
Agree strongly 36 28 76 48
DK/RF (not determined) 5 12 2 5
         
“Do you agree or disagree that ‘God hears prayers?’” NOTE: THIS QUESTION WAS ONLY ASKED OF THOSE WHO AGREED THAT "GOD EXISTS"      
Disagree strongly 10 13   8
Disagree somewhat 13 10 4 10
Agree somewhat 27 39 12 24
Agree strongly 44 25 82 53
DK/RF (not determined) 5 13 2 5
         
“Over the course of your life, have you
become more or less of a believer in God or
the Divine?”
       
More 38 30 74 44
Less 19 26 8 18
No change 37 33 16 32
Don't Know/RF (not determined) 6 11 2 6

Beliefs About God By Position Along the Religious-Secular Continuum (Percent Who Agree “Somewhat” or “Strongly” With Each Belief)

<<<<<OUTLOOK CONTINUUM>>>>>>>

BELIEFS Religious Somewhat Religious Uncertain/DK/Refused Somewhat secular Secular
God exists 94 90 50 78 53
God helps me 86 71 33 53 31
God performs miracles 92 68 72 60 46
God hears prayers 90 76 73 55 55
BASE TOTALS 340,000 1,300,000 180,000 580,000 1,300,000

NOTE: Totals include only JBR and JNR categories; each cell is of 100 percent. E.g. 94 percent of those who described themselves as “religious” agreed either “strongly or somewhat” with the proposition: “God exists,” while just 53 percent of those describing themselves as “secular” do so.

Identification With Branches of Judaism Among Jewish-by-Religion Adults (Percent of Each Branch that is “Religious” or “Secular”)

<<<<<OUTLOOK CONTINUUM>>>>>>>

BRANCHES OF JUDAISM Religious Somewhat Religious Uncertain/DK/Refused Somewhat Secular Secular TOTAL Percent
Secular Humanist *   14   19 67 100
Reconstructionist *   20   65 15 100
Orthodox 56 28 2 2 12 100
Conservative 7 54 4 14 21 100
Reform 7 43 2 18 30 100
Just Jewish 7 20 13 22 38 100

NOTE: categories provided by respondents in reply to: “What branch of Judaism do you identify with, if any?” Total includes JBR adults in residential households only.* These categories are based on very small samples, making generalizations difficult.

Affiliation With Temple, Synagogue or Congregation

  Qualifying Households by Respondent Type        
  JBR JNR JOR GA TOTAL
N= 1,547,000 600,000 705,000 908,000 3,760,000
  % % % % %
Affiliated 50 12 7 12 26
Not Affiliated 46 81 90 80 68
DK/RF (Undetermined) 4 7 3 8 6
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100

Synagogue Affiliation by the Religious-Secular Continuum

<<<<<<OUTLOOK CONTINUUM>>>>>>>

Synagogue Affiliated Religious Somewhat Religious Uncertain/DK/Refused Somewhat Secular Secular TOTAL
YES 69 59 9 39 21 1,600,000
NO 29 36 50 58 76 2,100,000
No Answer/DK/Ref 2 5 41 3 3 200,000
  100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
TOTAL Number 400,000 1,360,000 300,000 600,000 1,300,000 3,900,000

NOTE: categories provided by respondents in reply to: “Is anyone in your household affiliated with a synagogue or temple?” [Total N = JBR/JNR adults in residential households]

JCC & Other Organizational Affiliation by Religious-Secular Continuum

Affiliated with a JCC Etc. Religious Somewhat Religious Uncertain/DK/Refused Somewhat Secular Secular TOTAL
YES 42 33 12 28 13 980,000
NO 56 62 47 69 84 2,730,000
No Answer/DK/Ref 2 5 41 3 3 220,000
  100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%
TOTAL Number 400,000 1,360,000 300,000 600,000 1,300,000 3,900,000

NOTE: categories provided by respondents in reply to: “Is anyone in your household affiliated with a Jewish community center or some other Jewish community organization?” [Total N = JBR/JNR adults in residential households]

Jewish Friendship Network by Religious-Secular Continuum

Proportion of Friends Jewish Religious Somewhat Religious Uncertain/DK/Refused Somewhat Secular Secular
All or most 45 28 16 22 15
About half 16 33 17 25 25
Some 22 23 15 23 35
None 11 14 22 24 23
D/K or Ref 6 2 30 6 2
TOTAL Number 400,000 1,360,000 300,000 600,000 1,300,000

NOTE: categories provided by respondents in reply to: “What proportion of your closest friends would you say are Jewish?” [Total N = JBR/JNR adults in residential households]

Visiting and Attitude Toward Israel by Religious-Secular Continuum (Percent)

ISRAEL Religious Somewhat Religious Uncertain/DK/Refused Somewhat Secular Secular
VISITED          
Yes 47 41 29 26 23
No 51 54 41 69 74
Uncertain/DK/Refused 2 5 30 5 5
           
FEELING ATTACHED          
Not attached 14 29 31 40 55
Somewhat attached 21 42 23 39 25
Very attached 58 23 12 15 15
Uncertain/DK/Refused 7 6 34 6 5
           
Total N for each Q 400,000 1,360,000 300,000 600,000 1,300,000

NOTE: [Total N = JBR/JNR adults in residential households]


Sources: Center for Cultural Judaism

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