Report: English Jewry stable over past decade, Orthodox sector growing

(JTA) — England’s Jewish population has remained stable over the past decade, bolstered by Orthodox Jewry’s growth, according to an analysis of government data.

Data released Dec. 11 by Britain’s Office for National Statistics showed 263,346 Jews living in England and Wales, a figure that can be adjusted upward to approximately 284,000, according to an analysis by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and the Board of Deputies of British Jews. This would mean that Jews are roughly .5 percent of the population of England and Wales.

The overall size of the Jewish population of England and Wales has remained largely unchanged since 2001, according to the analysis. The government data showed an increase of 1.3 percent in the Jewish population over the past decade.

In Barnet, a borough of London, the Jewish population has increased by almost 16% from 2001 to 2011. One in five Jews in England and Wales now lives in Barnet, the analysis said. 

The Jewish population of Greater Manchester has grown by the similar proportion of 15%.The growth is particularly notable in the Greater Manchester boroughs of Salford and Bury.

The substantial Jewish population growth in London and Manchester boroughs with large Orthodox communities highlights a significant increase in size of the country’s Orthodox population, according to the analysis. The northern English town of Gateshead, home to a famed haredi Orthodox yeshiva, saw its Jewish population leap by 92 percent.

Areas that contain mostly non-Orthodox Jews are experiencing substantial contraction, the analysis said, with one important exception in Hertfordshire, a county north of London whose Jewish population has increased from 16,885 in 2001 to 21,345 in 2011 — a 26.4 percent increase.

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