August 17, 2021

Huge Demographic Shifts Mirror Growth of Kosher

Lakewood NJ…A leading kosher food distributor recently told Kosher Today that sales to some Orthodox communities had more than tripled in the last decade. The recent release of US Census data provides some fascinating insights. Lakewood, which had 92,843 residents (estimated 50,000 kosher consumers) in 2010 had ballooned to 135,158 (75,000 kosher consumers) in the most recent census. The Monsey-Spring Valley area grew from 49,710 (estimated 27,000 kosher) in 2010 to 60,000 (estimated 42,000 kosher) and a 31.7% increase in Kiryas Yoel (from 21,000 in 2010) to 28,000 in the current census, all kosher. Lakewood’s 135,158 people make it the fastest-growing municipality in New Jersey in the past decade and has now become the state’s fifth-largest city.

Outside of New York, kosher food is also growing in many cities. The Jewish community in the three-county South Florida area (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach) has grown from 47,000 in 1950 to about 635,000 today. Such growth, particularly for an area with a large retiree population, is phenomenal,” noted Dr. Ira M. Sheskin, a professor with the Department of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of Miami. The numbers do not include the considerable number of “snowbirds” that vacation in the state. Houston is another city that has experienced tremendous growth in kosher. 51,000 Jewish persons live in 26,000 Jewish households (where at least one adult is Jewish). In the Las Vegas (Henderson) area the Jewish community grew by nearly 20,000 residents, or 35 percent, to 75,000 from 1995 to 2000, according to the American Jewish Yearbook, and is estimated to have crossed 90,000 this year.