(JNS.org) The Jewish population of the United States
is 6.8 million, representing 2.2 percent of the country’s total population, a
new report revealed.
According to the 2012 estimates of the Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI) at
Brandeis University, about 4.2 million American adults identify as Jewish when
asked about their religion, and about 970,000 adults identify as Jewish by background or other criteria. Factoring in that about 1.3 million of 1.6 Jewish
children identified as Jewish by religion, 81 percent of American Jews identify
as Jewish by religion.
Prof. Leonard Saxe, SSRI’s
director and the new report’s co-author, had estimated in December 2011 that the
U.S. Jewish population was 6.4 million.
SSRI’s new data said that
24 percent of American Jews are 65 or older. More than 40
percent of American Jews live in six states: 20 percent in New York, 14 percent
in California, 12 percent in Florida, 8 percent in New Jersey, and 5 percent
each in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.