Updated: Monday, 13th July 2020 @ 9:36pm

Orthodox Jewish population on the rise, new figures show

Orthodox Jewish population on the rise, new figures show

By Hayley Clarke

Statistics released by a Manchester-based academic show that more Orthodox Jewish families are having children than non-Orthodox families.

Dr Yaakov Wise, an Honorary Research Fellow at Manchester University’s centre for Jewish studies, released statistics showing the strictly Orthodox community made up 20 percent of all Anglo-Jewry in 2010.

In Manchester, the UK’s second largest Jewish community, around 350 births per thousand women occur in the strictly Orthodox community, compared to an average 65 births per thousand among the non-Orthodox Jewish community.

Dr Wise said: “Although the small, provincial, Jewish communities in the UK are declining rapidly, it is important to point out that the strictly Orthodox population is rising quickly.

“Because of this huge increase in Strictly Orthodox numbers in immigration, I expect the overall numbers of Jews to continue growing in the UK.”

Strictly Orthodox couples are having an average of 6.9 children, which Dr. Wise thinks has credited to the 19% Jewish population rise since 2009.

Lucille Cohen, President of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester, said: “Strictly- Orthodox Jewish men traditionally get married at 18 so the women are relatively young too so they do spend less time in education”.

“The young women spend a year at a seminary, learning about Jewish traditions and the men attend religious academies. They don’t attend normal universities because it opens them to various influences of the modern world. “

Dr Wise argues that non-Orthodox Jewish women spend longer in higher education and marry later, causing a lower fertility rate.

He says that non-orthodox Jewish women under the age of 35 produce even fewer children than their non-Jewish equal.

“At no point do non-Strictly Orthodox Jewish women attain the fertility levels of their non-Jewish peers or bear children in numbers sufficient to offset population losses from natural causes.”