A Report on the Jewish Population of Los Angeles 1951

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles Jewish Community Counci

Principal Investigator(s): Fred Massarik

Population Estimates: Study (Main Report, Table 8, page 27 of PDF) estimates 107,600 Jewish households and 323,000 Jewish persons in the Los Angeles area.

Preview Report is exceptionally reader-friendly and highly recommended.

Key Findings: Report published January 1953: "A Report on the Jewish Population of Los Angeles."
  • Los Angeles is second largest US Jewish community

  • Size of Jewish population had doubled from 1941 estimate, which was part of national study.
  • 12% of LA Jewish community was 60 or older, compared to 1% of US census population in 1940.
  • In-migration peaked from 1945-1946, and had decreased by 1950 to pre-war levels.
  • Over half of all children ages 5-14 have received some Jewish education compared to 80% of those ages 15-19.
  • Two-thirds of all Jewish households self-identify as Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Sephardic... and one-third of these households claims synagogue membership. Synagogue membership is much lower (4%) among those not identifying denominationally
  • Among Jewish males, 66% of children are attending Sunday School compared to 12% of their parents; another 27% are attending a Jewish "daily" school compared to 72% of their parents.
  • Compared to US Census data, Jewish adults are slightly more likely to be professionals and semi-professionals than the general population (12%); Jews much more likely to be "proprietors, managers, officials" - 36% vs. 12% general population.
  • Intermarriage: "There are indications that from 5% to 8% of our adult Jewish population take marriage partners of another faith."
Sample: In-home surveys completed in 1951. Interviewers traveled over 7,000 miles. Data punched on over 6,000 tabulating cards.

Map of Greater Los Angeles showing Jewish distribution included in both reports (last page of Preview report).

Sample Size: Interviewed sample size of 640 was basis of city-wide analyses of Jewish population; total number of people living in these households was 1,921.

Sample Notes: Data File is NOT available for this study.

Methodological discussion begins on pp. 10 ff of Main Report PDF.

Researchers developed estimates of total Jewish community by first estimating Jewish population in Jewish areas, using differential sampling and estimation procedures in different areas.

Original Jewish community list from the Jewish Welfare Fund included just under 74,000 unduplicated households. Distinctive Jewish Name method used for estimate of number of Jewish households, and then modified by sampling within Jewish areas with at least a 35% density, and List phone calls in other areas.


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