Census revision means there's 1,727 more of us


The number of Jews in Britain has officially increased by over 1,700 after the Office for National Statistics revised its figures for the last Census.

A recalculation of the religious make-up of three London boroughs has resulted in there being more than 1,727 Jews in the country than was initially thought. The total is now 271,295 people.

The Jewish population of Camden has been readjusted to record a rise from 9,823 to 11,242; in Islington, from 1,915 to 2,093; and in Tower Hamlets from 1,283 to 1,413.

David Graham, senior research fellow at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, said that it meant that the national Jewish population grew "by slightly more than we had previously thought. The revised UK Jewish population count is 271,295 people, an increase of 4,555 on the 2001 figure, or 1.7 per cent rather than 1.1 per cent as we previously believed".

The figures are based on those who identified as Jewish in the voluntary question on religion in the 2011 Census.

Dr Graham explained that there had been a "data-processing error" in the original Census calculations, which meant that 1,727 people in the three London boroughs had been classified as non-respondents to the religion question rather than Jewish.

He said it was "not unusual for ONS to issue corrections to published Census data. The Census is a vast and complex exercise and errors inevitably creep in and, as with this one, they are usually minor but no less important to spot and rectify. Nevertheless, the Census remains by far and away the most valuable and accurate dataset available for the community to learn about itself".

The error was drawn to the attention of the ONS by Jewish economist Ben Richardson, who said he noticed something odd in the religious returns for the three boroughs.

The precise number of British Jews is impossible to determine because a number omit the religion question. Nationally, the question was left blank by around seven per cent of the British population.

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