2010 Howard County Jewish Community Study

Sponsor(s): Jewish Federation of Howard County |jcchoco, The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore

Principal Investigator(s): Jacob B. Ukeles, Ron Miller

Study Dates: April 27, 2010 - June 14, 2010

Population Estimates: An estimated 17,200 Jewish persons live in 7,500 Jewish households in Howard County. Including 3,200 non-Jewish persons, the total number of people living in these households is approximately 20,400.
Key Findings: The Jewish population of Howard County (MD) has increased since the 1999 Study (conducted by the same research team).

  • In 1999, 16,000 Jewish persons lived in 6,500 Jewish households.

  • Since the last study, the number of Jewish households increased 15%, essentially matching the general Howard County rate.

  • In 2010, Jewish households represent 7.4% of all Howard County households, compared to 7.5% in 1999.

  • Jewish persons increased about 8%, which was less than the overall Howard County 13.7% increase in total household members.

  • This partially reflects a Jewish empty-nester phenomenon as adult children moved out of their parents homes and also partially reflect significant increases in the "minority" population of Howard County from 1999 to 2010.

Newcomers: 27% of respondents in Baltimore Jewish households have moved to the community within the ten years prior to the survey.

Jewish children under age 18 constitute 18% of all Jewish persons living in Jewish households, while Jewish seniors 65 and older represent 16% of all Jews.

  • In 1999, Jewish seniors were 6% of all Jews (while children were 32% of all Jewish household members).

  • 19% of all senior respondents/spouses are reported to need assistance with "activities of daily life."

    Intermarriage rates: 29% of couples are intermarried, higher than in Greater Baltimore (20%) but lower than Washington, D.C. (41% in 2003). In 1999, the estimated intermarriage rate was 45%.

  • Of approximately 3,700 minor children in Howard County, 32% reside in intermarried Jewish households.

    • 62% of children in intermarried households are being raised as Jewish-only and another 17% as Jewish-and-something-else.

    • In 1999, 48% of children in intermarried households were being raised Jewish-only and 31% as Jewish-and-something-else.

  • 92% of children ages 5-17 raised Jewish-only have had some Jewish education, compared to none of the children raised Jewish-and-something else, or without religion.

The percentage of Jewish households which report synagogue membership is 48%, slightly lower than the 51% rate reported in 1999.

  • 24% of intermarried couples reports synagogue membership, compared to 14% in Greater Baltimore.

Jewish denominational patterns in 2010 a reflect a decrease in Reform Jews (1999: 42% vs. 32% in 2010), an increase among Conservative Jews (18% in 1999 vs. 28% in 2010) and a relatively steady Reconstructionist percentage (16% 1999 and 12% 2010).

  • Orthodox respondents account 1% of the community in 2010 compared to 2% in 1999.

Financially, approximately one-in-four Jewish households reports it is either just managing financially or cannot make ends meet.

  • 51% of all households report annual incomes of at least $100,000 (compared to 35% of Greater Baltimore Jewish households)

Jewish ritual behavior is almost identical to 1999: in 2010, 75% of households report always/usually lighting Chanukah candles compared to 19% who light Shabbat candles; 81%% report always/usually attending a Passover Seder; in 62% of the households, a member always/usually fasts on Yom Kippur; 9% of the HH report keeping kosher.

93% of Jewish households interviewed for the 2010 Study report contributions to charitable organizations; 57% report a Jewish contribution; 37% report a contribution to the Jewish Federation of Howard County.

Only 3% of Howard County Jewish households are members of a traditional Jewish community center in either Baltimore or D.C.

  • 56% of survey respondents very strongly supported establishing a traditional JCC in Howard County, while only 14% opposed its establishment

  • After the Study was completed, the Jewish Federation of Howard County joined the JCCA and has added jcchoco to its name, without currently having established a separate facility.
Sample: Adult Jewish Households in Howard County, MD.

Sample Size: 253 landline telephone interviews completed in Jewish households (at least one adult in the household considered self Jewish).

Sample Notes: The sampling design used by Ukeles Associates, Inc. and its research partner, SSRS [Social Science Research Solutions, Media, PA] focused on two complementary, stratified random sampling frames within Howard County: (1) A landline based, unduplicated, Jewish community list of known households generated from Jewish organizational lists; (2) a landline based residual random digit dialing (RDD) frame, which included all possible telephone numbers in Howard County after the List telephone numbers had been electronically purged.

Cell phones not included in design because of the prohibitive cost of including them, and the shared consensus that few Jewish households in relatively affluent Howard County did not have a home landline, or Internet voice line.

Total number of separate telephone numbers called for the study was over 30,500 including over 28,000 within the residual RDD landline sampling frame.

Just over 2,200 households (375 identified as Jewish, the remainder as non-Jewish) completed the screening interview sufficiently so that their "Jewish" status could be determined.

The data are weighted to reflect estimates of Jewish households and Jewish persons in Howard County, as well as the total number of people living in Jewish households.

Of the 253 survey respondents, 4% of all interviews completed were with non-Jewish spouses who felt comfortable answering questions about their household's Jewish experiences; all UAI studies allow non-Jewish spouses in intermarried Jewish households to answer the survey if they wish, in order to maximize participation of intermarried couples. <

Study Notes: Unweighted numbers of interviews by frame: 204 interviews were completed within the Jewish community list sampling frame and 49 in the residual RDD frame.

Weighted household numbers - 7,500 total - 42% List-based interviews representing the households "known" within the Jewish community lists, 58% residual RDD interviews.

Survey response rate (AAPOR RR3) was 29%.

Of identified Jewish households {375], 76% completed the interview.

The maximum survey error, including a relatively low (under 2.0) design effect, for data based on all 253 survey interviews is +/- 8.5% at the standard 95% confidence level.

The Data Bank currently has posted and archived (available for downloading below) a series of slides presented at the June 1, 2011 annual meeting of the Jewish Federation of Howard County, an Executive Summary brochure distributed at that meeting (which has the "big stories" summarized, and the questionnaire/screener used by SSRS for interviewing.

An expanded series of PPT slides will be available by the end of August, along with a Technical Appendix describing research methodology in detail, and the data file.


Survey Reports

» Executive Summary

Slide Sets

» Slide Set

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Questionnaire

» Screener

» Methodology Report

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Data File

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