high angle view of high rise buildings in Detroit, Michigan

The Contours of Our Jewish Community: Snapshots From the 2018 Population Study

Editor’s Note: Each week, the Jewish News will offer insights into the findings of the 2018 Detroit Jewish Population Study with the intent of stimulating discussion about its potential meaning and impact.

The city of Detroit is now the work destination for more than 4,700 Detroiters living in Jewish households and employed full time. However, the number of Jewish households within the city limits continues to decline. What gives?

While the 2018 Detroit Jewish Population Study shows the number of young adults between the ages of 18-34 now totals 19,100, up from the 9,400 found in the 2005 Detroit Jewish Population Study, they are not living in the city.

Between 2005 and 2018, the total number of Jewish households in the city has dropped by more than half, from 1,900 to 800. And in the Downtown/Midtown areas, purportedly popular with millennials, Jewish households barely increased, going from 30 to 60 over the 13-year period.

So where are the millenials? More likely in the older Southeast Oakland County communities of Huntington Woods, Royal Oak, Ferndale and Berkley. These communities have over 2,800 Jewish households, more than double the 1,300 Jewish households reported in the 2005 study.

One eye-popping finding of the 2018 study is the growth of Jewish households in Huntington Woods. With 1,575 households, it more than doubled the 720-household total from 2005. Today, two out of every three households in Huntington Woods is Jewish.

If Woodward Avenue or I-75 in Southeast Oakland County seems a bit more crowded these days, it’s partially due to the increasing number of young workers from the Jewish community commuting into — and out of — Detroit.

Discussion Question

  • Intuitively, it feels like there should be more than 60 Jewish households living in the central core zips of 48201 and 48226. Can you accept portions of a scientifically conducted survey research study, but not others, and if so, how?
  • Why aren’t more younger adults choosing to live in Detroit?