Miami is back!
Reversing 30 years of decline, the population of the Miami Jewish community has increased by 9 percent during the past decade. This from the Greater Miami Jewish Federation’s just released “2014 Greater Miami Jewish Federation Population Study: A Portrait of the Miami Jewish Community.”
More than 123,000 Jews now live in Miami-Dade County, making Miami the eleventh largest Jewish community in the U.S.
“In the past decade, we have seen a flow of new Jewish residents, as well as an increase in the length of residency in Miami,” said the Federation’s Chief Planning Officer Michelle Labgold. “This is significant news because Miami’s Jewish community experienced a steady decline in population between 1975 and 2004.”
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. 16% of the community is intermarried, unchanged in the past decade.
The study also reported that while the percentage of older adults in the Jewish community remained stable at 31%, there was an increase in 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%) occurred in the under-35 population.
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. This growing young adult (18-34 y.o.) population – up a significant 26% during the decade – is responsible for “explosive growth downtown with the number of households increasing 3 times over the past decade,” Labgold told eJP. In discussing changes that have occurred in Miami during recent years, Labgold continued, overall “Miami has rebounded significantly with lots of building taking place.” More important, “fun post-college opportunities abound.”
This last point was driven home by Rebecca Dinar who stepped down earlier this year as Director of The Tribe, a Slingshot recognized initiative targeting South Florida’s diverse young Jewish professionals. Dinar told eJP, “Eighty percent of Tribe goers are transplants from around the globe. They come here because they are seeking a fun and exiting place to live with lots of professional opportunities and a healthy Jewish community. They find all of that – and more – in Miami.”
For the data nerds among us, the complete 2014 Greater Miami Jewish Federation Population Study: A Portrait of the Miami Jewish Community can be found here.