Australias Jews increase by 10 percent

Australia’s Jewish population has risen by about 10 percent in the last five years to nearly 100,000, according to new census data.

The findings of the 2011 census, released June 22 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, showed the Jewish population to be 97,335 — about 0.5 percent of Australia’s total population of 22.5 million.

Jewish demographers have long believed the country’s Jews are undercounted because the religion question is the only optional question in the census; the question does not list Judaism, so Jews who want to be counted must check “other”; some Holocaust survivors are believed to be less likely to identify themselves; and some unaffiliated Jewish-born people feel it unnecessary to identify their religion.

Most experts believe the true figure is between 110,000 to 120,000, making Australia the ninth largest Jewish community in the world. — jta