Demographer states Jewish figures for 2016 census “implausible”

June 28, 2017 by J-Wire News Service
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Demographer Dr David Graham has analysed the results for the 2016 Census for the JCA and has said figures for the current Jewish population in Australia are implausible.

Dr Graham reports on his initial findings: “There can be no doubt that the Australian census figure of 91,022 Jews for 2016 is demographically implausible. The combined effect of projected changes in Jewish migration, births and deaths from 2011 all pointed to an increase in the size of the community, as has been the case for the last 35 years.

Taken at face value, this figure would represent by far the largest single contraction of Australian Jewry in the 105 year history of commonwealth census taking, with one exception, 1976. Tellingly, that census was plagued by adverse publicity and concerns about privacy. And at first glance, it does unfortunately appear that negative publicity fomented in the run up to the 2016 census as well as the debacle that took place on census night in the form of online sabotage, may well have dissuaded a significant number of Jewish people in our community from reporting their religion on census night.

The census has been a major asset in the community for decades and there is no doubt that poor census data can only be detrimental to communal planning and service provision going forward. In the coming weeks and months, we will be examining this data in detail to establish which sub-groups were most likely to have been underrepresented. In addition, we have tremendous data from Gen17, the national Jewish population survey, which will also be examined for clues in assessing the credibility of the 2016 census.”



5 Responses to “Demographer states Jewish figures for 2016 census “implausible””
  1. Dr Chaim Heitner M.B. B.S.Syd. says:

    It was with sadness that I read the article about the ” Implausible ” 2016 Census numbers of the Australian Jewish Community but I was not surprised. After about 20 years since our last visit and 45 years since we moved to Israel we visited Sydney for 2 weeks in February this year and my wife and I were shocked by what we saw and heard about the Orthodox Community. What has happened to ” The Yeshiva ” in Flood street to which we belonged , Locked and barred with Chillul Hashem galore. Synagogues struggling to make a Minyan during the week another with a small Minyan on Sabbath morning but no Mincha. South Head struggling and perhaps closing according to what I read in todays J-Wire. Scandals and alleged abuses in Melbourne and Jewish day schools in Sydney with most of the children coming from homes which don’t keep the Sabbath or Kosher homes. Many of the families we knew have children who have left Sydney for Israel or the USA. We also heard that some children who had adopted an Orthodox life style had given it away because of all the goings on in the Orthodox Community. If things don’t improve, and parents don’t practise the things their children are being taught in the Jewish Schools I can predict a further decrease in the next Census.

    • Adrian Jackson says:

      Closed Hebrew religions buildings are similar to closed Christian buildings in my electorate of Melbourne Ports (Caulfield, St Kilda, Elwood, Albert Park, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Prahran etc).

      In my suburb near the beach, within that electorate, there has never been a synagogue nor a Mosque but 30 years ago there were four churches but now there is only one Roman Catholic church and it is attended mainly by old people and is used for Italian wedding.

      With Cardinal George Pell charged today by Victoria Police concerning child sex allegations its day may be numbered too.

      • Ron Burdo says:

        It is unaffordable to be a Jew in Sydney or Melbourne, especially if you are Shomer Shabbat and must live in the expensive Jewish zones.

  2. john nemesh says:

    so how what is the “real ” projected number?

  3. Adrian Jackson says:

    About 97% of households completed the census, I understand, and those of the Jewish faith could note that in the religion section.

    Some Hebrews, like the rest of Australia, may not practice a religion at all with 30% of Australian saying they have no religion.

    As far as race is concerned as Semites are originally West Asian (so called Middle Eastern) but with racial mixing in Europe over the last 800 years may are a mix of Caucasian and Asian. There are blue eyed blond Hebrews from Poland for example.

    Even my Ancestry DNA test said I was 2% European Hebrew background, the rest being 88% British, 6% Irish, 2% Western European and traces of Scandinavia and Eastern European.

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