Detroit Area Jewish Population Study, 2005

Sponsor(s): Jewish Welfare Federtation of Detroit

Principal Investigator(s): Ira M. Sheskin

Study Dates: November, December 2005 [Statistical Adjustment Update April 2010]

Population Estimates: 2005 RDD-based estimates: 71,500 Jewish persons live in 30,000 Jewish households in Metropolitan Detroit; an additional 6,500 non-Jewish persons reside in these Jewish households.

2010 Jewish population update reduced estimate to 66,500 Jewish persons, a 7% decline from 2005-2010, based on several data sources, including U. S. Census Department data, a survey of Detroit-area Jewish institutions and a count of distinctive Jewish names (DJN) in telephone directories. No interviewing was attempted in 2010.

Key Findings: 2005 Report Summary

  • Of the 71,500 Jewish persons living in Metropolitan Detroit, 58,400 (82%) live in the Core Jewish residential area: 23 zip codes in southern Oakland County;

  • Metropolitan Detroit is the 21st largest US Jewish community, but has a decreasing Jewish population;

  • The Jewish community has strong local ties: 57% of adults in Jewish households were born in Metropolitan Detroit area, and almost 90% of interviewed respondents have lived in Detroit for at least 20 years;

  • The Detroit Jewish community is older than national Jewish population: median age is 47, compared to US Jewish median age of 39; 25% of Jewish adults are 65 or older, compared to 16% of Jews nationally; the percentage of Jewish adults age 75 and over increased from 6% in 1989 to 14% in 2005; 37% of seniors live alone, the second highest percentage among US local Jewish communities;

  • Financial insecurity and affluence both exist: 17% of households have annual incomes below $25,000, while 43% report incomes of at least $100,000;

  • Jewish connections are moderately strong: 40% of Jewish respondents feel very connected to the Jewish community, 50% of Jewish households are synagogue-affiliated; levels of Jewish practice are also relatively high; 55% report donating to the Jewish Federation;

  • Intermarriage rates are very low compared to national patterns: only 16% of currently married Jewish couples are intermarried; the intermarriage rate among Jewish adults under age 35 is the lowest of all US Jewish communities; the percentage of children being raised in intermarried Jewish households, compared to inmarried households, is the lowest in the US;

  • The Core Jewish area is younger, more likely to include children; core area Jewish households have higher rates of Jewish practice; 8% of Core area couples are intermarried, compared to 48% in non-Core area;

  • Jewish education among children being raised Jewish is high: 48% of Jewish children ages 5-17 are currently enrolled in Jewish Day Schools, while another 33% are currently enrolled in synagogue schools, and many of the older teens have had supplementary Jewish education in the past;

  • 58% of Jewish households report that at least one member has visited Israel; 26% of Jewish respondents feel extremely attached emotionally to Israel, and another 29% feel very attached.
Sample: Jewish households in Metropolitan Detroit:(a) Core Area in southern Oakland County, northwest of Detroit and (b) Non-Core area including all other communities in Oakland County, as well as all of Wayne County and Macomb County.

Sample Size: 1,274 completed Jewish household interviews in November and December 2005; 403 from a Random Digit Dialed Sample (RDD) and 871 interviews from a Distinctive Jewish Name sample (DJN) from CD-ROM local telephone directories.

Sample Notes: Core area includes the cities of Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Commerce Township, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Franklin, Oak Park, Southfield, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Walled Lake and West Bloomfield. Maps on pages 16-17 of Slide Set A compare 2005 Core communities with 1989 Core geographic definitions.

Total telephone numbers called: 10,663 in RDD frame, 2,903 in DJN frame.

Data file has multiple weights. Initial "WF"=weight factor is designed to to adjust for: (1) multiple telephone lines in interviewed Jewish households, (2) geographic disproportionate sampling within the RDD sampling frame, and (3) to weight DJN interviews so that they resemble RDD interviews. It reduces N to 1,226.

"WFHH" is the household projection weight; N=30,000 Jewish households; should be used for most analyses. When weighted, the 403 RDD interviews account for 27% of the weighted HH estimate of 30,000 Jewish HH; the interviews from the DJN frame account for 73% of the weighted total.

Study Notes: 2010 Update:

Please note that Slide Sets "K" and "L" were added in April, 2011, as was the Update Report 2010.

The 2010 updated population estimate of 28,000 Jewish households and 67,000 Jews was based upon a review by Dr. Sheskin of the 2005 American Community Survey (ACS) for Detroit, the 2010 US Census for Detroit, trends noted in the 2005 Detroit Jewish Population Study, and results of the 2010 Jewish Institutions Survey.

No interviewing was completed in 2010. Distinctive Jewish Names were used only to estimate that, in 2010, 77% of the 28,000 Jewish households live in the Core Area.

The 2010 slide presentations and the 2010 update report place Detroit's Jewish population data in as current a perspective as possible. The 2010 slides, for example, update the 2005 Slide presentations to include Jewish community studies completed since 2005 and to delete other comparisons to surveys that were completed too long ago to be useful.

Two slides in "K" describe the additions and subtractions.