The Jewish Community of Hamilton, 2011

Sponsor(s): Hamilton Jewish Foundation, Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA

Population Estimates:

The Jewish population of Hamilton was 5,110 in 2011.

Jews comprised 0.7% of the total Hamilton population.

Key Findings:

Data about the Jewish Community of Halifax are based on the 2011 Canadian National Household Survey.  Part 1 Basic Demographics was released in June, 2014. Part 3 on Jewish Seniors was issued in September, 2014.  The reports focuses on the Basic Demographics of this community of approximately 5,000 Jews.

Basic Demographics

• The Jewish population of Hamilton was 5,110 in 2011. Jews comprised 0.7% of the total
Hamilton population.

• Between 2001 and 2011 the local Jewish community increased by 370 people, or 7.8%. This increase reversed a trend evident between 1991 and 2001, when the community decreased by 430 persons or 8.3%. The current total is slightly below the 1991 peak population figure of 5,170 Jews.

• Hamilton has the eighth largest Jewish community in Canada.

• Age distribution of the Hamilton Jewish community: the 0-14 year cohort has
remained at about the same level between 2001 and 2011.

On the other hand, the 15-24 age group decreased in the last decade, from 715 to 635 individuals between 2001 and 2011.

• The 25-44 age group increased, from 1,045 to 1,145 individuals between 2001 and 2011.

The 45-64 cohort likewise increased in the last decade, from 1,320 to 1,490 individuals between 2001 and 2011.

• The number of seniors increased in the last decade. There were 1,045 in this age group in 2011, compared to 870 in 2001. Seniors comprise 20.5% of the community in Hamilton.

• The median age of the Hamilton Jewish community (44.5 years) is significantly older than that of the Canadian Jewish population (40.5 years).

• The size of the Jewish community’s population ranks nineteenth among ethnic groups in
Hamilton. The top five ethnic affiliations include British, Canadian, Italian, German, and
French.

Jewish Seniors

There are 1,045 Jewish elderly 65+ years residing in the Hamilton CMA.

Seniors comprise 20.5% of the 5,110 members of the Jewish community here. These figures do not include Jewish seniors living in institutions.

• The percentage of elderly in the Jewish community (20.5%) is significantly higher than the proportion of seniors in the overall Hamilton population (15.2%). The percentage of Jewish seniors here is also higher than that for the Canadian Jewish population (16.9%).

• Almost half (48.5%) of elderly Jewish women in the Hamilton CMA live alone, comprising
250 individuals. More than a fifth (29.3%) of elderly men, or 145 persons, live in single
person households.

• The overall poverty level among Jewish seniors in the Hamilton CMA is 5.2%. This is
 a very low level of economic disadvantage compared to the level of poverty
among seniors in other Jewish communities.

• About half (48.8%) of Jewish seniors report experiencing some type of disability.

Study Notes:

DataBank users should review the Appendices to the report in addition to the main text and summary of findings. 

The Appendices include discussions of the utility of the National Household Survey of 2011 (which replaced earlier Census "long-form" data collection efforts), a discussion of the Revised Jewish Definition used in 2011 and a comparison with the Standard Jewish Definition used in earlier Census-based reports on Jewish Canada, a discussion of ethnic origin attribution used in the definition of Jewish persons, and supplemental, additional tables on population demographics.

Language: English