NEW YORK (JTA) – The Pew Research Center’s newly released 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study offers a trove of data on American Jews based on interviews with 35,071 American adults, 847 of whom identified their faith as Jewish. Here are some of the more interesting findings about the Jews.
We’re highly educated! There are more American Jews with two or more university degrees than those who have just one – 31 per cent have a graduate degree and 29 per cent have just a bachelor’s degree. With a college graduation rate of about 59 per cent (more than twice the national average of 27 per cent), American Jews are the second most-educated religious group in America after Hindus, at 77 per cent.
We’re the biggest religious minority! Judaism is the largest faith group in America after Christianity, and its relative size in America has grown slightly since 2007 – from 1.7 per cent of the U.S. population in 2007 to 1.9 per cent in 2014. The denominational breakdown of Jews who identify with the Jewish faith (“Jews by religion”) is 44 per cent Reform, 22 per cent Conservative, 14 per cent Orthodox, five per cent another movement and 16 per cent no denomination.
We’re not as white as we used to be: American Jewish adults are 90 per cent white, two per cent black, four per cent Latino, two per cent Asian-American and two per cent “other non-Hispanic.” That’s a notable change from 2007, when whites comprised 95 per cent of American Jews, Latinos comprised three per cent, blacks comprised one per cent and the percentage of Asians was negligible.
A quarter of us are losing our religion: When it comes to religious retention rates, American Jews come in third, retaining 75 per cent of those raised Jewish. By comparison, Hindus retain 80 per cent and Muslims 77 per cent. Behind the Jews are Evangelical Christians at 65 per cent; Mormons, 64 per cent; Catholics, 59 per cent; and mainline Protestants, 45 per cent. Jehovah’s Witnesses retain only 34 per cent.
But 17 per cent of us have found Judaism! Seventeen per cent of American Jews say they were raised in another religion. Six per cent say they were raised unaffiliated, four per cent as mainline Protestant, three per cent as Catholic, and two per cent each as Evangelical and in some other religion.
Who are we marrying? Sixty-five per cent of American Jews who are married or living with a partner are with a Jew and 35 per cent are with a non-Jew. Nine per cent of American Jews are partnered with Catholics, eight per cent with mainline Protestants, four per cent with peoples of other faiths and 11 per cent with unaffiliated Americans.
Nu, when are we going to get married already? The percentage of Jewish adult singles is growing – up from 19 per cent in 2007 to 23 per cent in 2014. Fifty-six per cent of Jewish adults are married, and another six per cent are living with a partner. Fifteen per cent were married but are now separated, divorced or widowed. The Jewish fertility rate is 2.0 children, compared to 2.1 children for all Americans.
We’re mostly American born and bred: Sixty-six per cent of Jewish adults in the United States are Americans born to American-born parents. Of the 12 per cent of American Jews who are immigrants, five per cent were born in Europe, four per cent in the Americas, two per cent in the Middle East and one per cent in the Asia-Pacific region.
We still heart New York: Where do America’s Jews live? Forty-two per cent in the Northeast, 27 per cent in the South, 20 per cent in the West and 11 per cent in the Midwest. In the Northeast, where Jews are most numerous, Jews comprise roughly four per cent of the total population. Eight per cent of the New York City area is Jewish.
We’re rich! (but also poor): American Jews (44 per cent) are more than twice as likely as average Americans (19 per cent) to have annual household incomes over $100,000. But 16 per cent of Jewish adults have annual household incomes of $30,000 or less, and 15 per cent live in households that earn between $30,000 and $50,000.
The Jewish data in the survey has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.