Population Trends among Britain’s Strictly Orthodox Jews

Jun. 28, 2008

Source: The Board of Deputies of British Jews


The Board of Deputies of British Jews has published an in-depth report on the demography of Britain’s strictly Orthodox Haredi Jewish community written by demographers David Graham and Daniel Vulkan.


The report is a rigorous review of a wealth of data including the 2001 Census records; shalom zachor celebrations for baby boys announced in local news-sheets; Orthodox directories for Sabbath-observant families; and enrolment at Charedi schools.


The report shows that nationally, the strictly Orthodox population has been growing at a rate of about 4 per cent per year for the last two decades. This is an outstanding statistic considering the common assertion that British Jewry like many Diaspora communities is in a permanent state of decline.


The report also indicates that this segment of the Jewish UK populace is young. It estimates the size of the UK Haredi population to be around 29,600, out of a total of 300,000 for UK Jewry as a whole (i.e. 10%), but among those who are under 18 years old, 33 per cent would be strictly Orthodox. This young age structure has caused the acceleration in the Haredi growth rate and might lead to an even higher rate than 4 per cent in the future.


In a Jerusalem post article on the study, it was noted that last month, a report produced by Manchester University's Center for Jewish Studies had also suggested that Britain's Jewish community was enjoying a demographic revival for the first time in 50 years because of massive growth in its haredi population. However, The Manchester University report differed in population numbers of the haredi community, saying that the ultra-Orthodox community totaled 46,500, as opposed to the Board report which put it at around 29,000.

Reviewed by JTEC Portal Team

Updated: Jul. 20, 2008