In 2009, the Asheville Jewish Leadership Collaborative, on behalf of the Asheville Jewish Community, embarked on the first-ever demographic study of our community. The study was designed and performed by demographers from Brandeis University.
In October 2010, the results of 2010 Western North Carolina Jewish Demographic Study were presented to the community. The following are just a few of the statistical highlights. To download and read the entire study, click here.
Total Number of Jews in WNC: There are approximately 4,720 year round residents in Jewish-connected homes in Western North Carolina and at least another 1,000 seasonal residents.
Where do we live? 72% of the Jewish connected households in Western North Carolina are located in Buncombe County. Another 13% are in Henderson County, 5% in Transylvania County, and 3% in Macon County; the remaining 7% of households we found were spread among 14 other counties in Western North Carolina.
10 Most Popular ZIP Codes: 28804, 28803, 28805, 28806, 28801 (Asheville); 28704 (Arden); 28787 (Weaverville); 28712 (Brevard); 28739 (Hendersonville); and 28715 (Candler).
Tenure of Residence: Nearly 60% of all Jewish-connected households in Western North Carolina first moved to the area in the last ten years, and nearly 80% arrived in the last 20 years.
Seasonal Community Members: Of the estimated 835 seasonal members of our community, about 46% re from Florida; 10% are from South Carolina and another 10% come from other parts of North Carolina; 18% are from Connecticut, New York, and Oregon. Other states represented by seasonal residents include Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Virginia.
How old are we? The mean age of our Jewish community is 49.3 years; an estimated 28% of the WNC Jewish population is 65 years or older; 21% are 55- 64; 21% are 35-54; 15% are 18-34; children (aged 17 or younger) make up 15% of the population.
Business Ownership: About one-third of Jewish adults in Western North Carolina own their own businesses (35% of year-round residents and 30% of seasonal residents). Of those, 93% operate only in Western North Carolina and 7% operate both in Western North Carolina and elsewhere.
Marital Status, Children, and Intermarriage: Approximately three-quarters (78%) of Jewish-connected households in Western North Carolina include a married couple. Forty percent of these couples are interfaith. Among households that include married couples, 27% include children. Sixty-four percent of the children are being raised exclusively Jewish, with another 19% being raised Jewish and something else. Seventeen percent are being raised exclusively non-Jewish.