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Jewish population dips in NYC

Lowest figure in 100 years as families move to suburbs


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NEW YORK (CNN) -- New York City's Jewish population has fallen below 1 million, the lowest figure in a century as Jewish families move out of the city and head for the suburbs, according to a study.

Among the Jews who remain, the rate of poverty has doubled, according to the study released Monday by the United Jewish Association-Federation of New York, which analyzed data from 1991 through 2002.

Between that time period, poverty among the New York City's Jewish households went from10.5 percent to 21. 2 percent, according to the study.

The study's threshold for poverty was higher than the federal poverty guidelines, which is a function of income and household size.

An influx of Russian immigrants and sluggish economy after the September 11th terrorist attacks were cited as reasons for the poverty rate increase.

While New York's Jewish population dropped by about 5 percent during the period, the population in the suburban counties of Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk increased by 24 percent, leaving the area's total population stable at about 1.4 million people -- 972,000 in the city's five boroughs and 440,000 in the suburbs, according to the study.

Jacob Ukeles, the study's principal investigator, said the city's Jews constitute an increased share -- 34 percent -- of New York City's overall non-Hispanic white population, because Jews left the city at a lower rate than others in that category.

In 1957, the Jewish population in New York was more than 2 million, meaning one in four New Yorkers were Jews; today, it's about one in eight.


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