The 2009 Jewish Population Study of Greater Philadelphia

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia

Principal Investigator(s): Etienne Phipps

Study Dates: March 16 - June 10, 2009

Population Estimates: An estimated 214,700 Jewish persons live in 116,700 Jewish households in Greater Philadelphia; 177,800 Jewish adults and 36,900 Jewish children.

Total number of people in Jewish HH, including non-Jews, is 251,400.

Key Findings: Key Findings

  • Number of Jewish HH and persons in Greater Philadelphia has increased since 1996/97 study, although the number of Jewish children appears to have decreased.

  • Population is older than previous study [see sample notes for discussion of implications of landline only estimates used for the study]; major demographic "bump" among ages 50-64 - 26% of all Greater Philadelphia Jews.

  • 56% of respondents born in Greater Philadelphia, 33% elsewhere USA, 11% non-USA.

  • Intermarriage rates have increased since 1996/97 study.

    • Couples rate is 28% overall; 45% of married couples under age 40 are intermarried.

    • Individual - Jewish persons intermarriage rate is 16%.

    • Over 50% of all Chester County married couples are intermarried; Chester County households also most likely to have children.

    • Children in all Greater Philadelphia intermarried Jewish HH: 29% being raised Jewish-only, 30% Jewish-and-something-else, 27% NOT Jewish and 14% "undecided."

  • Israel attachment much lower among respondents under age 40.

  • 35% of HH report synagogue membership, similar to the 37% in 1996/97.

  • Ritual behavior overview: Passover seder attendance: 76%, Chanukah lighting candles: 71%, Fasting on Yom Kippur: 55%, Shabbat Chandles: 18% and Keeping Kosher: 15%.

  • 58% report a Jewish charitable gift; giving to Federation has apparently declined over the past decade.
Sample: Adult Jewish households in Greater Philadelphia: counties include Philadelphia (66,800 Jews), Montgomery 64,500 Jews), Bucks (41,400 Jews), Chester 20,900 Jews) and Delaware (21,000 Jews).

Sample Size: 1,217 completed interviews with Jewish HH in which at least one adult self-identifies as Jewish: unweighted numbers: 754 from Federation list, 101 from a list of Jewish surnames [DJNs], and 362 from [residual] RDD.

Sample Notes:

Interviewing completed by SSRS (Social Science Research Solutions), of Media, PA; David Dutwin, Ph.D., Vice-President.

Sid Groeneman, Ph.D., Groeneman Research and Consulting, Inc. was a member of the Research Leadership Team, along with Etienne Phipps and David Dutwin. Brian Mono, Manager of Allocations at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, served as internal project manager.

Interviews lasted an average of 19 minutes; total number of phone calls 136,000; numbers tried up to five times.

Landline telephone interviews only as the basis of projections and estimates; cell-phone-only Jewish households are not included in estimates or in data file.

Thus, researchers caution that because cell phone interviews were not included due to financial costs: (1) the total Jewish population might be an underestimate, (2) the percentage of Jews under age 30 or 40 might be underestimated, and (3) the percentage of Jews 65+ might be overestimated.

The Main Report and the Slide show compare 1997 estimates to estimates based upon: (a) replicating the 1997 methodology, and (b) estimates based upon the 1997 methodology with a post-stratification adjustment added.

The Data Bank will use in its reports and summaries the Jewish household, Jewish person and total number of people in Philadelphia Jewish households estimates which are based upon the post-stratification methodology employed by SSRS in 2009, using the best possible methodological procedures available at the time of each study.

Using post-stratification estimates, the number of Jewish households, Jewish persons and Jewish adults increased over 1997, while the estimated number of Jewish children in Philadelphia Jewish households appears to have declined since 1996/97.

Study Notes: Dr. Phipps wrote the Summary Report and organized the slide show presentations.

SSRS wrote the Methodology Report: David Dutwin, Ph. D. and Eran Ben-Porath, Ph. D., had primary responsibility for the technical analysis, weighting and methodology report.

Weighting procedures are described in the report, and should be reviewed carefully by data file users.

The DATA FILES for the 2009 Study available through the Data Bank (zipped format below) are in both SPSS.sav and SPSS.por format, and focus on the 1,217 completed Jewish household interviews. Labels are more extensive in SPSS.SAV format.

The Data Bank data file includes the original variables from the Einstein data file sent to the Jewish Federation (variables 1-469), recoded variables (v470-v564) from syntax created by Dr. Phipps at Einstein (variables saved from the Einstein-Phipps syntax, including Kehillot for area analysis, the sampling frame (v565) and then a series of weighting variables which have been placed by the Data Bank at the end of the file and relabeled to clarify their construction and use.

The Summary Report provides detailed explanations of which weight was used in analysis - partly depending on whether the data was adult persons data or household data. Users who want to compare the data file and the report should carefully read the references to weights in the report.

In addition, the analysis was complicated by the reality that the 2009 post-stratification model improved upon the 1997 model, but some comparisons to the 1997 data might have been useful using the same estimation procedures without post-stratification.

The Data Bank prefers to use the most advanced methodology available, so we recommend the use of the post-stratification weights.

The weights that should be used to extrapolate the data to the number of Jewish households or the total number of people in Jewish households are labeled as "EX_ADULT_POST_wt" (v566") and "EX_HH_POST_wt" (v567) in order to indicate that they are post-stratification weights.

  • The extrapolated numbers using "EX_HH_POST_wt" are 116,670 Jewish HH (rounded as 116,700 HH in the report) and 203,236 adults using "EX_ADULT_POST_wt" (report number is 203,600 prior to a probable minor data file adjustment).

  • Researchers interested in analytic weights for the study for statistical significance tests should use the weights labeled "STAT_Adult_Post_wt" (v568) and "STAT_HH_POST_wt" (v569); these weights reduce the N statistically to 1,217 (number of interviews, but maintain the same relationship patterns.

In addition to the post-stratified weights, four additional weights are included: v570="WT1997_HHwt2 which extrapolates to the number of Jewish households prior to post-stratification) and v571="1997_Adultwt1" which extrapolates to the number of persons in Jewish HH prior to the 2009 post-stratification. The comparable analytic weights are v572="weight1" which is identical to "STAT_ADULT_POST_wt" and v573="weight2" which is the analytic HH weight prior to post-stratification.


Survey Reports

» Methodology Report

» Executive Summary

» Summary Report

Slide Sets

» Summary Report Slides

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Age Distribution Table

» Questionnaire

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Zipped SPSS Data File

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