How the Jewish Community uses census data

Both Jewish Policy Research (JPR) and the Board of Deputies are engaged in large-scale collection of data on Britain's Jewish population. The tradition of data collection in the community dates back well over a century. Census data provides JPR and the Board of Deputies with detailed information on the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of Jews in Britain.

Moreover, census data has come to form the backbone for the system of demographic accounting for Jews in the UK. Data from the census combined with data collected independently in the Jewish community constitute the base for production of annual estimates of the size, structure and composition of the Jewish population in the UK, as well as of summary measures of fertility and mortality pertaining to this population.

Furthermore, census data helps the JPR and the Board of Deputies to plan and meet communal needs.

Examples census data uses include:

  • Census-based age/sex distributions of Jewish population are used to estimate the current and future care needs of the Jewish elderly population for residential care facilities and service provision.

  • Census age/sex data, in combination with measures of fertility, are used to plan for the future provision of Jewish faith schools and child care facilities.

  • Census-based data on the age/sex structure and geographic distribution of the Jewish population are used by community providers such as community centres, kosher shops, charities and synagogues, many of whom have come to rely on census data for planning their activities and services.

  • Census data on: self-reported health; presence of limiting disability; access to transport; employment status; number of persons per household; relationship status; mixed-religious households; and educational status, as well as comparisons of all these metrics with other communities in Britain, have become an important planning tools for a multitude of organizations working inside the community. This helps to provide relief and support to the economically deprived sectors of Jewish population, as well as other disadvantaged and marginal groups within the Jewish community.

About the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR) and the Board of Deputies of British Jews

JPR is an independent research organization, consultancy and think-tank. It aims to advance the prospects of Jewish communities in Britain and across Europe by conducting research and developing policy in partnership with those best placed to influence Jewish life.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews is the representative body of the British Jewish community. Its research unit carries responsibility for gathering fundamental community statistics that are widely used to inform policy throughout the UK.

Source: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee; The Census and social science (Third Report of Session 2012–13)