Rhode Island 1987 Social and Demographic Study

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Rhode Island

Principal Investigator(s): Calvin Goldscheider, Sidney Goldstein

Study Dates: Interviewing occurred from April, 1987 through July, 1987. Report issued 1988.

Population Estimates:

Report estimates that approximately 16,000 Jewish persons live in approximately 7,200 Jewish households in Rhode Island; a total of 17,000 people reside in these Jewish households, of whom 1,200 (29%) are non-Jews.

Please note that in many 1980s Jewish community studies, the term "Jewish population" was used at times to describe all persons living in Jewish households who were related to a Jewish person in the household, and at other times to describe only Jewish persons.  DataBank users should review all data presented to make sure which definition of Jewish population was used.

• In most studies completed after 2000, a clear distinction has been made between the number of Jewish persons in a Jewish household (one adult is Jewish is the usual definition) and the total number of all people who live in these Jewish households, including non-Jews.

Key Findings:

Report compares 1987 results for Rhode Island with data from previous studies and estimates, including data from 1970 statewide estimates based on 1970 National Jewish Population Survey, and 1951 and 1963 Jewish community survey estimates for Greater Providence.

Figure 3.2 compares number of Jewish households and total number of people in Jewish households for these time periods. Total number of households increased during this period, while number of people in Jewish households apparently declined from almost 20,000 in 1951 (Providence) to 17,000 in 1987 (statewide).

The Jewish population of Greater Providence has declined precipitously during this time period. Geographic analysis in the report compares growth and decline of the Jewish population over time; maps define areas.

Report has extensive analysis of demographic characteristics, Jewish connections, etc.

Questionnaire had almost 400 questions, and required approximately 45 minutes for a family of four.Appendix B has a detailed analysis and description of Sampling Error;

Appendix C has a number of comparisons of Rhode Island 1987 and other local Jewish communities on a number of demographic and Jewish connections variables.


Interviews were obtained from 1,129 Jewish households: 887 from the List sample and 242 from the RDD sample.

Sample Size: 1,129 interviews - RDD 242, LIST 887

Sample Notes:

Sampling methodology described in detail in Chapter One of the 1988 report, which also provides an exceptionally useful summary of previous studies in Rhode Island.

Dual frame random sampling: approximately two-thirds of the sample was from the Federation List of 6,586 unduplicated (mostly) Jewish households, and one-third from an RDD sample (random digit dialing) of all telephone households in Rhode Island. Some geographic oversampling was planned to allow a minimum of 100 interviews in key geographic sub-areas.

Total sample goal was 1,350 interviews: 935 from List and 415 from the RDD frame. Report indicates that interviews were obtained from 1,129 Jewish households: 887 from the List sample and 242 from the RDD sample.


Data file has 1,138 respondents/households: 228 from the RDD sampling frame, 909 from the List frame, and 1 undefined. But, 9 cases have been assigned a weight of zero, essentially eliminating them from any weighted analysis, thereby matching the reported number of interviews.

Weight Factor ("wf") in data file extrapolates interviews to 7,220 Jewish households, and should be used in all analyses focusing on Jewish household data.

Study Notes:

Questionnaire is taken from the report, Appendix A, and has multiple hand-written notes on it, often signifying the name of the variable in the SPSS file.


Language: English


Survey Reports

» Main Report

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Questionnaire

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Zipped SPSS Data File

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