The 2014 Greater Miami Jewish Federation Population Study: A Portrait of the Miami Jewish Community

Sponsor(s): Greater Miami Jewish Federation

Principal Investigator(s): Ira M. Sheskin

Study Dates: January-February, 2014

Population Estimates:

2014 Jewish Population estimates:

•  The Jewish population of Greater Miami increased to 123,200 in 2014 from an estimated 113,300 in 2004 -  an increase of just under 9%.

♦  95% of all people living in Greater Miami Jewish households in 2014 are Jewish (93% in 2004); the total number of all people in Miami Jewish households is 129,700.

•  There are 55, 700 Jewish households in the Greater Miami Study Area; the average number of Jewish persons per household is 2.2.


Key Findings:

The 2014 Greater Miami Jewish Federation Population Study results are based on 2,020 interviews conducted during January and February, 2014.

Population estimates: 55,700 Jewish households, 123,200 Jewish persons and 6,500 non-Jewish persons (total of 129,700 people) live in the Greater Miami area.

Jewish population has increased 9% over the previous study which was completed in 2004.

Major Findings

The initial survey results were reported in October, 2014.  Portions of the study summary  on the Federation's website are highlighted below:

Study Shows Growth, Increased Diversity, Highly Connected Community

According to the study, the population of the Miami Jewish community has increased by 9 percent during the past decade, reversing about 30 years of decline. More than 123,000 Jews now live in Miami-Dade County, making Miami the eleventh largest Jewish community in the U.S.

The Country’s Most Diverse Jewish Population

The Federation’s study also found that Miami’s Jewish population has become increasingly diverse, with 33 percent of adults being foreign-born, the highest percentage of any American Jewish community. The number of Hispanic Jewish adults rose by 57 percent in the past 10 years, with the largest increases due to migration from Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia and Peru. The number of Israeli-born adults grew by 35 percent in the past decade.

While the percentage of Miami households identifying themselves as Orthodox grew from 9 to 11 percent over the past decade, the number of people residing in Orthodox Jewish households grew by 41 percent, mostly due to a significant increase in the average size of Orthodox households.

The study also reported that while the percentage of older adults in the Jewish community remained stable at 31 percent, there was an increase in the younger older adults as the Baby Boomers move into the 65- to 74-year-old age cohort. It also revealed that the largest growth (17 percent) occurred in the under-35 population with significant increases in the number of children and young adults.

The Miami Jewish community remains primarily concentrated in three main regions – North Dade, South Dade and The Beaches – with a new, emerging Jewish population center of 7,000, consisting mostly of young adults, in the Downtown Miami/Brickell/Midtown corridor. The Jewish population in North Dade increased by 19 percent in the past 10 years, while The Beaches’ Jewish population remained about the same, and South Dade decreased by 7 percent.

Affinity to Jewish Identity and Israel

While the 2013 Pew Research Center Survey of U.S. Jews found that just 46 percent of American Jews said that “being Jewish is very important” to them, 74 percent of respondents to the 2014 Greater Miami Jewish Federation Population Study reported feeling this way.

Only 16 percent of couples in the Jewish community are intermarried. The 16 percent has not changed since 2004. It is one of the lowest intermarriage rates of all American Jewish communities, and compares with the 61 percent figure in the Pew Study.

Jewish connectivity is strong in Miami, with 95 percent of households involved Jewishly in some way: either by home religious practice; synagogue attendance; membership in synagogues, JCCs and other Jewish organizations; or via donations to Jewish charities.

Eight in 10 children have participated in some type of formal Jewish education. However, the study also revealed that cost remains a significant barrier to enrollment in Jewish day schools, Jewish summer camps and organized trips to Israel.

Sixty-two percent of respondents reported they are “very” or “extremely” emotionally attached to Israel. Seventy-one percent of Miami Jewish households include a member who has visited Israel, the highest rate of any U.S. Jewish community. This increased from 62 percent in 2004.

Need for Social Services

Although a majority of the Miami Jewish community is relatively affluent, 29 percent report that they cannot make ends meet or are just managing financially. Fourteen percent of all Jewish households report incomes below $25,000 per year; many of these people are in need of community support.

Thirty-five percent of households indicated that they had a need for some type of social services in the past year, with the types of needs most often cited including coordinating services for seniors, job counseling, and help or screenings for children with disabilities or special needs.


2,020 completed interviews -  of which 590 come from an RDD (random-digit dialed) base and 1,430 from a Federation-supplied List. 

Of the total number of interviews completed ("source" and "source2" in data file):

♦ 1,119 were land line interviews (519 RDD and 600 LIST)

♦ 901 were cell phone interviews (71 RDD and 830 LIST).





Sample Size: 2,020

Sample Notes:

October 2014 summary report indicates that the margin of error for the 2,020 interviews at the customary 95% level of confidence is +/- 2.2% (without design effect impact).

The data file for the Miami 2014 Jewish Population Study is available in SPSS SAV and SPSS POR format for downloading on the right side of this Overview page.  SPSS syntax is also available to indicate variable transformations, data analysis by chapter and the derivation of projected number of cases from survey sample data.

♦ Unweighted number of interviews is 2,020.

♦ "Wf" -  basic weighting factor (Variable 795) can be used for percentage analyses. "Wf" reduces the N from 2,020 to 1,811 by down-weighting some interviews based on number of telephones in the HH. 

♦ The number of Landline interviews is reduced with "wf" to 1,085 from the original 1,119 interviews (the number of RDD Landline interviews was 519 unweighted, but is reduced to 296 using "wf;" 

♦ The number of cell phone interviews was reduced from 901 unweighted to 726 using "wf" (LIST-based cell phone interviews were reduced with "wf" to 644 from the unweighted 830 -  but the number of RDD cell phone calls was increased to 82 using "wf" compared to the unweighted 71 RDD cell phone interviews completed).

♦  "Wfhh" -  variable 799  -  extrapolates the data to the 55,700 Jewish households in the Greater Miami area. 

Study Notes:

There are three reports (and multiple slide sets) which summarize the results of the 2014 Greater Miami Jewish Federation Population Study: A Portrait of the Miami Jewish Community.

The Summary Report ("A Portrait of the Miami Jewish Community) in "booklet" format was the initial public summary of the data released in October 2014.  It has 20 pages of graphs and accompanying text, and provides the quickest introduction to the results of the 2014 Portrait of Jewish Miami.

Two other reports are currently available at the Berman Jewish DataBank.

Main Report is over 1,300 pages with enormous detail and multiple comparisons to other Jewish communities. The current version on the DataBank has been updated as of November, 2015

• Methodology summary in Chapter 2 of the main report does not include a discussion of the actual estimation process of the number of Jewish households and Jewish persons for the Miami 2014 survey.

• Questionnaire is Appendix A, and is also reproduced separately for DataBank users..

Executive Report is 185 pages. 

• First section (pages 1-56) has study results in a quick text summary for the entire study area and for geographic sub-areas, quick text comparisons with other Jewish communities, and summary of changes 1994 to 2004 to 2014 (issued January 2015).

• Summary of report with all major topics covered begins on page 57; this report provides more data details than the initial SUMMARY REPORT noted below, but in over 125 pages (issued January 2015).

Multiple slide sets prepared by Dr. Sheskin are also available for downloading


2004 Study and Previous Miami Studies.

The Berman Jewish DataBank at The Jewish Federations of North America also has archived previous Greater Miami Jewish Population studies.  They are hyper-linked below:

•   Greater Miami 2004 

•   Dade County 1994

•   Miami 1992 Market Segmentation Study

•   Greater Miami, 1982


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