Jewish Federation of Greater Houston Demographic Survey, 1986

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Greater Houston

Principal Investigator(s): David Smith, Bruce Phillips

Study Dates: Screening Phase of Project: October, 1985-February, 1986; Interviewing Phase: March-June, 1986.

Population Estimates:

The report notes that the "Jewish population" of the Study area was 42,500 in Harris County and 45,000 in the entire study area.

In reviewing the 1986 study, Dr, Ron Miller from the Berman Jewish DataBank and Dr. Ira Sheskin (who has completed  the 2015 Houston Jewish Community Study, which will be released in Fall, 2016) have concluded that the term "Jewish population" included all people living in a household with a Jewish adult, Jews and non-Jews.  Please note that this was not uncommon in the 1980s, and continued in other studies until the early 21st century. 

Thus, while the total number of people in the Jewish households (labeled "Jewish Population") of Harris County was estimated to be 42,500, and the total Greater Houston area estimate appears to be 45,000, the number of Jewish-identifying persons ("Jews") in 1986 was undoubtedly less than 42,500 in Harris County and 45,000 in the entire Study area.  

In 2015, the Jewish Community of Houston completed a state-of-the-art study of the Houston Jewish community.  Dr. Ira Sheskin, principal investigator of the 2015 study, has indicated that the report to be issued in the Fall of 2016 will clarify the earlier estimates of Jewish-identified persons in contrast to the total number of people living in a household with a Jewish adult (Jews and non-Jews) in the Houston area, as well as contrasting the earlier estimates with the 2015 study estimates and results.

Key Findings:

The report notes that the "Jewish population" of the Study area was 42,500 in Harris County and 45,000 in the entire study area.  In reviewing the 1986 study, the DataBank and Dr. Ira Sheskin (who has completed  the 2015 Houston Jewish Community Study, which will be released in Fall, 2016) have concluded that the term "Jewish population" included all people living in a household with a Jewish adult, Jews and non-Jews.  Please note that this was not uncommon in the 1980s, and continued in other studies until the early 21st century.  See the expanded discussion under "Population Characteristics"

1986 Report - Major topics covered in the "Main Report" available as a download on the right side of this Overview page: 

♦ Method and Scope of the Survey,

♦ Demographic Highlights;

♦ Mobility,

♦ Patterns of Affiliation,

♦ Children,Single

♦ Single Young Adults,

♦ Jewish Seniors,50-64 Year Olds,

♦ Volunteerism,Jewish Philanthropy,

♦ Houston in Comparative Perspective,Planning Implications,

♦ Suburban Surveys: North Houston, West Houston, Bay Area, Ft. Bend County

Bay Area 1986 Focus Report

A special report on the Bay Area communities was also conducted.  Fifty list-based interviews.  Report is the last item under Survey Reports (added in 2016).

Sample:

Jewish Households in the Greater Houston Area with at least one Jewish adult - viewed as a broad definition, which included the unaffiliated and individuals with only one Jewish parent.

Sample Size: 600 intensive interviews completed which provided data for the analysis of Jewish person and household characteristics in the Study reports.

Sample Notes:

The sampling universe included Jewish households located in Harris County and areas of Montgomery, Galveston, Brazoria, Ft. Bend, and Waller Counties.

Two stage process utilized for the Study.

Phase I was a comprehensive random digit dialed telephone screening survey of all households in the Greater Houston area [geography details throughout the main survey report] designed to produce an estimate of the Jewish population.Stage 1 of Phase I covered Harris County; random digit dialing "screening" telephone interviews were completed with over 17,000 persons to determine whether the household was Jewish or not Jewish [309 Jewish persons identified].Stage 2 of Phase I eliminated telephone exchanges which do not yield any Jewish interviews in Stage 1 - an abbreviated religion screener was completed with over 16,404 households [389 Jewish persons] area.In addition, in the contiguous areas of Montgomery, Galveston, Brazoria, Ft. Bend and Waller Counties, another 756 screening interviews were completed using the abbreviated screener [75 Jewish households].Phase II consisted of developing an extensive survey for the identified Jewish households and attempting to complete an interview with a Jewish adult.

600 interviews were completed from the pool of Jewish households/persons identified in the screening phase.

Study Notes:

Estimates of the Jewish population were based on the results of the 33,000+ screening interviews compared to the 1984 Census data for Greater Houston.

Data were essentially post-stratified [in contemporary research terms] to reflect age, gender, home ownership and ethnic patterns found in the 1984 Census. Some details included in the main report.

Original estimate of 16,500 Jewish households derived from Introductory Letter to the 2001 Study by Dr. Stephen. L. Klineberg, Sociology, Rice University. Estimate of 45,000 in Greater Houston also noted in 1986 "Fifty-first Annual Meeting: Report to the Community..."  See "Population Estimates" above.

Data file is unweighted; sampling model and resultant survey data were viewed as geographically representative of the Study area defined by the Federation Study Committee; hence, data were not weighted.

Language: English