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Basic Trends in American Jewish Demography

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Publication Date: January 1988

Publisher(s): American Jewish Committee

Author(s): Uziel O. Schmelz; Sergio DellaPergola

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Population and demographics (Ethnic and racial groups)

Keywords: American Jews; Demography; Family

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


There is considerable controversy over the Jewish demographic future. Some claim American Jewish fertility is sufficient for replacement of the parent generation if not for modest growth. Others believe that intermarriage will offset low fertility by opening the Jewish community to large numbers of Jews by choice. This essay, specially prepared for a 1986 American Jewish Committee Conference seek to provide realistic assessments of the demographic future of American Jewry. The authors emphasize the Jewish fertility in the U.S. has always lagged behind overall white American fertility; nor do they find any demographic gains through intermarriage.