The 2005 Las Vegas Jewish Community Study

Sponsor(s): Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson School, Jewish Federation of Las Vegas, United Jewish Community: Jewish Federation of Las Vegas

Principal Investigator(s): Ira M. Sheskin

Population Estimates:

An estimated 67,500 Jewish persons live in 42,000 Jewish households in Las Vegas in 2005; an additional 21,500 non-Jews also live in these households.

Key Findings:

Major findings:

  • Las Vegas is the 23rd largest Jewish community in the US; 6% of all Las Vegas households include a Jewish adult;The number of Jewish persons living in Las Vegas increased from 55,600 Jews in 1995 to 67,500 in 2005, a 21% increase;The Las Vegas Jewish community should continue to grow; 29% of Las Vegas Jewish households have moved to Southern Nevada in the five years preceding the survey;Only 1% of Las Vegas Jewish household adults were born in Southern Nevada; only 21% of the households have lived in Nevada for at least 20 years;Jewish households are dispersed throughout the Las Vegas area; maps highlight geographic dispersion. The geographic sub-areas vary considerably in terms of demographics and Jewish connections;11% of children in Las Vegas Jewish households live in single-parent households, and a significant proportion are being raised in blended, divorced and remarried Jewish households;"Overall, the level of Jewish religious practice in Las Vegas is lower than in almost every comparison Jewish community." Las Vegas has the lowest percentage of households which always/usually participate in a Passover Seder (50%), and similarly low levels - - compared to other Jewish communities of Chanukah candle lighting, Shabbat candle lighting, and keeping kosher;Only 14% of Las Vegas Jewish households report congregation membership, the lowest percentage of all American Jewish communities which have been studied;48% of all currently married Jewish respondent/spouse couples are intermarried; 71% of couples ages 35-49 are intermarried; 42% of children in intermarried Jewish households are being raised as Jews.

Jewish households in Clark County, Nevada. The terms Las Vegas and Southern Nevada are used interchangeably in the reports to describe the study area.

Sample Size: A total of 1,197 twenty minute telephone interviews were conducted in November and December, 2005. Of these, 398 were completed from a RDD (random digit dialing) frame, and 799 from a Distinctive Jewish Names (DJN) sampling frame.

Sample Notes:

Completed DJN interviews were weighted to statistically resemble the RDD interviews. Additional weighting adjustments were made for multiple telephone line households, and for geographic area adjustments.

Weight factor "wf" adjusts 1,197 completed interviews to 1,161. "WFHH" weight factor projects data to Las Vegas Jewish households (precise number is 41,999). Of the completed interviews, when weighted the RDD interviews account for 31% of the estimated 42,000 Jewish HH while the DJN interviews account for 69% of the weighted projections.

Chapter 2 of the Main Report includes some methodological details.

A separate report summarizes data from a Jewish children's survey, which compares children in Jewish households located through the interviewing process for the community study, and children in Jewish households which have enrolled them in various Jewish activities.