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Demographic and Attitudinal Survey of the Jewish Population of New Mexico, 2014

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of New Mexico, New Mexico's Center for Jewish Philanthropy

Principal Investigator(s): Marina Arbetman-Rabinowitz, Benjamin Kupersmit

Study Dates: September 3, 2014 through November 4, 2014

Population Estimates:

The 2014 New Mexico survey did not attempt a Jewish population estimate.

DataBank users: please note that two sources provide estimates of the size of the New Mexico Jewish population. 

(a) The Steinhardt Social Research Institute estimates the adult Jewish-by-religion population of New Mexico in 2013 at 22,200 Jews, with a low estimate of 15,200 and a high estimate of 30,200.

(b) Sheskin and Dashefsky, in the American Jewish Year Book, estimated the the number of all Jewish persons in New Mexico in 2014 at 12,725.

Key Findings:

The Jewish Federation of New Mexico commissioned the first-ever Demographic and Attitudinal Survey of the Jewish Population of New Mexico in 2014.  

Results of the 2014 survey focused on how Jews in New Mexico identify as being Jewish, including denomination and upbringing; Jewish respondent attitudes regarding the importance of being Jewish and participating in the Jewish community; Jewish practice, including religious and community involvement; and the demography of New Mexico's Jews.

Quantitative results of the Survey of New Mexico Jewish residents have been published in the Summary Report: Demographic and Attitudinal Survey of the Jewish Population
of New Mexico.

Qualitative results of the Focus Group phase of the project have been published in Phase 2: Focus Group Results & Recommendations for Strategic Planning.

Major highlights of the survey report include:

•  59% of New Mexico Jews say that ‘being Jewish’ is “very important” to them with another 31% saying it is “somewhat” important.  Nationally - Pew 2013 results - 46% say being Jewish is “very important,” 34% say “somewhat” and 20% say “not too/not at all” important.

•  Fewer New Mexico Jewish survey respondents say that being involved in the Jewish community is important to them - 40% “very important” and 38% “somewhat important.”

•  A majority of Jewish respondents (56%) are members of a synagogue, and another 3% are members of an Independent Havurah or minyan (another 4% say there is no synagogue available nearby).

•  40% report being "very attached" to Israel, while 38% are “somewhat attached.”

•  Survey results indicated that 87% of New Mexico Jewish survey respondents identified as Jewish by religion. 

• The report notes that, "The population of Jews in New Mexico is considerably older than the national Jewish population: one-third of New Mexico’s Jewish population is over the age of 65, with 11% over the age of 75 and 22% between the ages of 65-74. Nationally [Pew 2013], 24% of Jews in America are estimated to be over the age of 65 (versus 17% of the overall population)."

•  While the vast majority of respondents (87%) have moved to New Mexico from another state, 40% have been in New Mexico more than 20 years.

• A majority of New Mexico’s Jewish population lives in Bernalillo County (55%). Additionally,  23% reside in Santa Fe Count, 6% in Sandoval Count, 6% are in Doña Ana County and 3% in Taos County.



Sample size is 1,691.

Page 6 of the Summary Report describes the process of survey phone interviews and Internet survey completion.  Of the 1,691 surveys completed, the data file indicates that 243 were completed by phone calls and 1,448 via the Internet.

Study researchers noted that the, "...survey results were weighted to reflect the distribution by gender of the population and the distribution by age of Jews in New Mexico as estimated by the Brandeis University Steinhardt Social Research Institute." (see page 7 of the Summary Repeort PDF).




Sample Size: 1,691 Jewish respondents

Sample Notes:

Data File in SPSS SAV and SPSS POR are available for downloading in the zip file on the right side of this Overview page.

♦ Original data file not in SPSS, but converted to SPSS by Berman Jewish DataBank staff; labeling follows excel sent to DataBank by researchers.


Sample:  1,691 cases; unweighted number of respondents ("phase," v3) indicates 243 completed telephone interview, 484 completed via email link and 964 directly via website)

Weight to be used is variable 81 ("weight"); set as default.  

DataBank added weight to data file following the weighting sheet used by the researchers to adjust unweighted results to approximate Brandeis age/gender distributions for New Mexico.  Using "weight" approximates the proportions of males ages under 35, 35-54, and 55+ and females under 35, 35-54, and 55+ in Brandeis estimates. The DataBank staff assigned a weight of 1.0 for respondents who replied transgender or refused to give a gender answer, or refused to give their age (total of 37 cases only either not male/female or no age). in order to maintain those respondents in the data file.   



Study Notes:

Two versions of the survey report are available, one with and one with without the Appendix questionnaire and frequencies.

Topline frequency results for all topics and the questionnaire have also been separated by the DataBank from the original report pages 38 ff. for the convenience of researchers, and are downloadable separately under Documentation.

The Focus Group report includes a brief summary of the quantitative study, extensive quotes from members of the Jewish community from the focus groups (plus analysis by the researchers), and a series of recommendations for strategic planning to enhance Jewish life in New Mexico.


Language: English