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Jewish Population Study of Greater Des Moines, IA 1956

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, Jewish Welfare Fund of Des Moines, Iowa

Principal Investigator(s): Samuel Baum

Study Dates: 1956

Jewish Population Census of Greater Des Moines as of July 1, 1956

Population Estimates: Study indicates a total of 3,187 Jewish persons in the Des Moines area.
Key Findings:
  • Jewish population was approximately 4,000 in 1920, but declined to 3,187 by 1956 Jewish census.

  • In 1920, Jews represented 3% of Des Moines total population; by 1956, only 1.5% of area's population was Jewish.

  • Report focuses on Jewish demographics: data include household size, age of Jewish persons, gender, marital status, fertility, place of birth, date of arrival in Des Moines area, plans to move from the area, geographic residential patterns, secular education, labor force participation variables, home ownership and income.

  • Report also includes data on Jewish education of respondent and children, plans for children's Jewish education, denomination (37% Conservative, 30% Orthodox, 26% Reform), synagogue affiliation (88% affiliated; youngest households least affiliated), synagogue attendance, connections with other Jewish and general communal organizations, and military service.
Sample Notes: Questionnaire indicates data collection procedures used in at-home interviews. Variables are reflective of questions included in Jewish community studies at the time.

Summary Report contains notes for the study committee which oversaw the project - provides basic summary data in exceptionally useful format.

Main Report does not have all tables referred to in the Table of Contents, but has sufficient data salvaged from the 1956 study to be of historical interest.

Study Notes: Reports scanned by the Data Bank from 50-year old typed copy generously contributed to the Data Bank by the Principal Investigator, who now lives in the Denver/Boulder, Colorado area and attended a presentation of the results of the 2007 Greater Denver/Boulder Jewish Community Study.

Samuel Baum mentioned the 1956 Des Moines report to the Data Bank's Associate Director, who was making the presentation in Boulder. The Data Bank wishes to thank Sam Baum for then locating the remaining copy of the 1956 Des Moines report, for adding it to the Data Bank's legacy study collection, and for maintaining his interest in Jewish community studies for over half a century.

The Adobe Acrobat PDF version of the reports is actually easier to read than the 50-year-old typed version. Please also see the 1953 Jewish Education Report from Des Moines which was also located for the Data Bank by Mr.Baum.


Downloads

Survey Reports

» Main Report
(PDF)

» Summary Report
(PDF)

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Questionnaire
(PDF)

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