Last year we all filled out the ABS Census 2011 form. But what did the research say about the Australian Jewish community and what are the trends around the world? In this special interview, David Graham, Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Jewish Policy Research [JPR] and JCA Demographer outlines the findings to Odile Faludi.
How many Jews are in Australia?
David: The actual Census count is 97,000. We have done a lot of analysis on other interesting data (including funerals, school enrolments) and these serve as indicators. We estimate that roughly 9% don’t answer the religion question. There is also a small percentage who see the question and think, “Hey I am not religious, so therefore I am not Jewish” but answer they are “Jewish by ancestry.” Once all the sums are done we estimate the community is about 112,000.
Therefore, the Jewish population is 0.5% of the Australian population which is currently 22 million. One in 234 people is Jewish. This highlights in real terms how tiny the community is. We get surprised when we see these figures as we are a tight-knit community and live close together. It gives us the illusion that there is more of us!