A government report here has concluded that Australia’s Jewish community is older, better educated and wealthier than the general population.
The report, “Judaism in Australia,” was released last Friday and produced by the Bureau of Immigration, Multicultural and Population Research.
The study, which used data from the 1991 population census, is the first of a series of profiles on Australia’s religious communities.
Nick Bolkus, a senator and federal minister for immigration and ethnic affairs, said, “It is particularly appropriate that we start the series with Judaism this year – the International Year of Tolerance – because this is the year in which we mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the liberation of Nazi concentration camps and the beginning of Australia’s postwar, planned migration program.”
More than 85 percent of the estimated 105,000 Jews in Australia live in Melbourne or Sydney, the study said.
The Australian Jewish population grew by almost 8 percent between 1986 and 1991, according to the study.
In addition, the percentage of Jews older than 65 years is close to twice the national average, according to the data. The report said found that “Jews tend to marry later,” “are more likely to marry” and “are less likely to be separated” than non-Jews.
Australian Jewish men and women are better educated than their non-Jewish counterparts, the report also said.
And in terms of family income, 21.2 percent of all Jewish families earned $60,000 in 1991, compared with 6.1 percent of all Australian families the study found.
“The report suggests that Judaism is likely to continue as a strong force in Australia, partly because of the large percentage of Jews sending their children to Jewish day schools,” Bolkus also said.
In addition, the report showed that 9.8 percent of the spouses of Jewish respondents declared themselves members of other religions, a finding significantly lower than most communal estimates.