UK’s Jewish community growing three times as fast as population

UK’s Jewish community growing three times as fast as population

Latest JPR study reveals 'Jewish demographic growth' as births within the community increased by 25.4 percent

Newborn baby
Newborn baby

Britain’s Jewish community is growing three times as fast as the population as a whole and has “turned a corner” following a period of population decline, new research has revealed.

The latest figures, collated by the Institute of Jewish Policy Research (JPR) for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, show that between 2005-15 total births in England and Wales increased by 8.1 percent whereas Jewish births increased by 25.4 percent.

Describing the newly-revealed “Jewish demographic growth,” JPR researchers said the recent surge compares to the earlier periods dating from 1979, when national birth rates stood at 9.4 percent and Jewish birth rates registered 7.4 percent.

“These new data not only provide further evidence of the extraordinary demographic shift happening in the UK Jewish population, but will also serve as a boon to community planners everywhere,” said JPR director Dr Jonathan Boyd.

“They will be a vital resource, particularly for determining the numbers of primary school places needed in the years to come. Jewish population growth will be seen among the youngest age bands, especially in the most Orthodox sectors, and community leaders and planners will need to plan effectively for that.”

Board of Deputies’ chief executive Gillian Merron said the report “provides an essential analysis of the UK Jewish population and great insight into its different components and sectors,” adding: “Most of all, it is wonderful to see that our vibrant, dynamic and thriving UK Jewish community is also growing.”

The report’s author Dr Donatella Casale Mashiah said “high fertility among strictly Orthodox Jews is driving a compositional change in the UK Jewish population as a whole,” with Orthodox Jews almost twice as fertile as non-Charedi Jews.

From 2007-15, strictly Orthodox births increased by 35 percent, climbing from 1,431 per year to 1,932, she said. “Over the same period, ‘mainstream’ Jewish births are also estimated to have increased by 19 percent, rising from 1,844 to 2,199.”

Circumcisions of male Jewish babies have long been used to derive UK Jewish birth statistics, and there were 1,961 such circumcisions in 2015, an increase of 26 percent over the last decade.

The number of Jewish deaths over the last five years has remained almost constant, the UK having benefitted from economic developments, improving living standards, public health measures, sanitary reforms and advancements in medicine.

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