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The Jewish Population Study of the Greater Kansas City Area, 1976

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City

Principal Investigator(s): Albert Mayer

Study Dates: 1976. June 1976 - August 1976.

Population Estimates: Approximately 20,000 persons live in 7,400 Kansas City Jewish households; report is unclear as to whether the 20,000 estimate includes all persons - - or only Jewish persons.
Key Findings: "The Jewish Population Study of the Greater Kansas City Area" was issued in 1977. Highlights are summarized in Report pages 2-3.

A few major findings:

  • By 1976, the Jewish population appears to have suffered a sharp decline in the number of children under age 5.

  • The community appears to have an increased divorce rate among those ages 35-44 and declining marriage rates among those under age 35.

  • 40% of heads of household were born in Kansas City area, while about 25% were born outside the USA.

  • 28% kept a kosher home; 60% light Shabbat candles; 83% Chanukah candles; 91% a Passover Seder.

  • 61% of heads of households report synagogue or temple membership.

  • High levels of secular education and professional occupations noted.

  • But, "The majority of Kansas City Jewish heads of households believe that their own Jewish education was inadequate. The large majority will send their children to religious school when they come of age in order to achieve a Jewish identity or gain an appreciation for Jewish tradition. The vehicle for such a religious education for most of the population is indicated to be Sunday school."

  • Intermarriage estimates reported on pages 23-32 of the report, including data on current marriages in the community, first marriages and marriages of adult children of Kansas City survey respondents not living in the area:

    • Overall intermarriage rate is 14%, seen as higher than in many other communities.

    • Under age 35, 37% of males and 28% of females were intermarried.

    • "The percentage of children's intermarriage is about three times that for.their parents."
Sample: Jewish households in Greater Kansas City - 57% Kansas City, Missouri and 43% Kansas City, Kansas.

Sample Size: 924 telephone interviews followed by in-home interviews of a sub-sample of over 300 of these households.

Sample Notes: Volunteer interviewers for the project - names listed in report.

Mrs. Janet Bordman supervised the telephone interviews by 55 volunteers while Mrs. Elaine Polsky supervised the in-person interviews by 85 volunteers.

Study Notes: Population estimates were reported as precise numbers - rounded above; 19,584 persons in 7,392 Jewish households.

Methods discussion in Appendices at the end of the document; number of interviews reported does not necessarily match summary data early in report.

  • Data file no longer exists, so reconciliation is not possible.

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