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Jews in America:
Trends in American Jewish Demography

by Ira Sheskin
(November 2021)

Numbers and Geography

● According to the American Jewish Year Book, about 7.3 million Jews live in the United States. The Jewish population has increased from 6.1 million in 2000 and 6.5 million in 2010. (The Pew Research Center estimates 7.5 million.)

● 45% of Jews live in the Northeast, 10% in the Midwest, 22% in the South, and 23% in the West. A significant shift out of the Northeast to the South and West has occurred over the past 40 years.

● Eight states have a Jewish population of 200,000 or more: New York (1,786,000); California (1,188,000); Florida (663,000); New Jersey (609,000); Pennsylvania (434,000); Massachusetts (302,000); Illinois (298,000); and Maryland (239,000). Six states have between 100,000-200,000 Jews: Texas (176,000); Ohio (152,000); Virginia (151,000); Georgia (129,000); Arizona (124,000); and Connecticut (118,000).

● A large percentage of Jews live in some of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas: (New York-Newark (2,292,000 Jews), Los Angeles-Long Beach (691,000), Miami-Fort Lauderdale (551,000), Washington-Baltimore-Arlington (416,000), San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland (363,000), Philadelphia-Reading-Camden (440,000), Boston-Worcester-Providence (298,000), and Chicago-Naperville (295,000).         

● 10% of Jewish adults are foreign-born, compared to 17% of the U.S. general public


● American Jews are an aging population, with a growing number of people age 65-74. (Persons age 65-74 are the leading age of the baby boom.)

● 29% of Jewish adults are age 65 and over, compared to 20% of the U.S. general public.

●The median age of Jewish adults is 49 years, compared to 46 years for the U.S. general public.

● Fertility (average number of children ever born per adult age 40-50) is 1.5 children, compared to 1.7 children for the U.S. general public.

● The average household size for Jewish households is 2.7. It is 4.6 for Orthodox households, compared to 2.3 for Conservative, 2.6 for Reform, and 2.7 for the Just Jewish. The 2.7 also compares to 2.5 for the U.S. general public.

● 58% of Jewish adults have a 4-year college degree, compared to 29% of the U.S. general public.

● 54% of Jewish households earn $100,000 and over, compared to 19% of the U.S. general public.

● 92% of Jews are white-non-Hispanic, compared to 58% of the U.S. general public.


● 73% of adults Jews are Jews by religion. Another 27% are Jews of no religion (ethnic/secular Jews).

● 42% of married Jews have a non-Jewish spouse.

● 37% of U.S. Jews are Reform, 17% are Conservative, 9% are Orthodox, and 32% are Just Jewish.

● 26% of Jewish adults are very attached to Israel, 32% are somewhat attached, 24% are not too much attached, and 14% are not at all attached.

● 46% of Jewish adults have been to Israel.

● 20% of American Jews go to religious services at least monthly.

● 35% are synagogue members.

● 48% donated to a Jewish charity in the past year.

Sources: Sources: Ira M. Sheskin & Arnold Dashefsky. “United States Jewish Population, 2021,” in Arnold Dashefsky & Ira M. Sheskin. (Editors) American Jewish Year Book, 2021, 121 (2021) (Cham, SUI: Springer Nature).
Jewish Americans in 2020.” Pew Research Center, (May 11, 2021).