Sunday, March 01, 2009

JES Fact Sheet

A few interesting tidbits from the Jewish Economic Survey so far:
  • 45.3% of respondents rent their place of residence.
  • 56% of the people living within the NY-NJ area rent their place of residence.
  • 73% of the people living outside of NY-NJ (but within the United States) own their place of residence.
  • While just 6% do not have health insurance, over 40% of respondents do not have life insurance.
  • 74% of the respondents to the open-ended question “What do you think is/are the most important financial issue(s) facing the Orthodox Jewish Community?” included Tuition or something similar to tuition in their answer.
  • The average 1-bedroom apartment in the NY-NJ area goes for $1,111. The average rent married couples in the NY-NJ area pay for a 2-bedroom apartment is about $1,200 a month.
  • 2-bedroom apartments in Baltimore are rented at an average of $910/month. A 3-bedroom apartment increases the costs to $978/month.
  • The average mortgage for most married couples who own their residence in Baltimore is $1,469 a month – and they live in a 4-bedroom house.
  • In the Midwest (including people from MI, MO, OH, and WI; excluding Chicago, IL), the average respondent’s family lives in a 4-bedroom house and pays a mortgage of $1,187/month.
There's plenty of other data coming out of the survey, but the sample sizes are too small for most categories to feel comfortable enough to even mention them. Housing is an area which is easier to get a handle on more quickly, as a 2-bedroom apartment is a 2-bedroom apartment no matter how many people are stuffed into it. Life insurance you either have or you don't. But food costs are obviously greater even among otherwise similar families if one family has an additional child.

Of the statistics listed above, the biggest surprise is the cost of two-bedroom apartments in NY-NJ; apartments in Queens are far more expensive than that. On the other hand, people have who lived in apartments that size for 5 years or more would be paying much less than that amount, as prices started climbing fast right around the time we got married. In addition, apartments in Kew Gardens, Teaneck, and Passaic seem to be somewhat cheaper than Kew Gardens Hills or Washington Heights. In addition, while it was expected that a higher percentage of people in the NY-NJ would be renting as compared to everywhere else, the gap (44% ownership in NY-NJ vs. 73% elsewhere) is much larger than many people might have expected - and it's not as if the respondents are all young couples, either. 56% of the responses to date have been by people at least 30 years old, 21% from people 40 or more.

The lack of life insurance is a bit of a surprise. While one could argue that singles or even married couples with no children have less of a need for life insurance [and in fact, less than 5% of childless singles and 29% of childless couples have life insurance], the percentage of people with children who have no life insurance is over 23%.

If you haven't yet taken the survey, please do! The more people that take it, the better and more useful the data will be. And pass it along. :)