Hasidic Household Income Up 43% In 8 Years

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The Satmar Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel. (JTA/Uriel Heilman)

NEW YORK (VosIzNeias) — Census data reviewed by OJPAC shows that the average income for Hasidic Households jumped by 43.1% from 2009 through 2017. The data is based on the Village of Kiryas Joel in Orange County, NY, whose population of 23,000 is Hasidic and is the largest Hasidic population quantified by the Census.

In 2009, the mean (average) household income in Kiryas Joel was $28,452 or $32,480 in 2017 inflation-adjusted dollars. The average household income in 2017 was $46,506; a jump of $14,026 or a rise of 43.1% in a mere eight years.

The change in Household Income tracked very closely to the change in earnings for Male workers in the same period. This is so because income in most KJ households is generated by the males. The average earnings in 2009 for Full Time, Year Round Male Workers was $35,620 or $40,663 in inflation-adjusted 2017 dollars. The average income in 2017 for the same working group was $59,363; a jump of $18,700 or a rise of 45.9% in a mere eight years. (most male workers in Kiryas Joel are in the Full Time, Year Round category.)

By contrast, the average household income in New York State rose only 2.4% in those eight years and average male income was up less than one percent.

The amount of households in Kiryas Joel that earned more than $75,000 a year almost tripled from 6.8% households in 2009 to 19.9% households in 2017, and the amount of Full Time, Year Round, Male Workers who earned above $75,000 more than tripled from 9% in 2009 to 31% in 2017.

The massive change in household income and in male income for Kiryas Joel happened without any change in State-forced mandates at Yeshivas. Instead, KJ has now more households than a decade ago with earners who are above the age of 40 and this helped increase the income. However, Kiryas Joel has an elevated Poverty Rate due to the young age of the adult population which plays out in three forms.

First, the average income for male workers in their mid-20’s across New York is only half the average income of those who are in their mid-40’s. This matters because a majority adults in Kiryas Joel are in their 20s and low 30s so while many households earn well, there are many more who still earn less due to the young age of the earners.

Secondly, being young usually means that a household is more likely have only one breadwinner because the other parent is at home caring for the children so this reduces total household income in Kiryas Joel compared to New York overall.

Third, the Poverty Rate is derived by splitting total household income into the amount of people in the household. As such, having children at home can paint a family as poor despite having a reasonable income.

Pointing to the Poverty Rate among Hasidim as “proof” that Hasidic males can’t earn well is flawed because the Poverty Rate looks at overall Household Income relative to family size, and Hasidic Households tend to have less income and more children than the average New York household due to the young age makeup of KJ. The Poverty Rate does not measure poverty based on raw male earnings, and the poverty rate certainly does not adjust for the young age nature of Hasidic earners. Indeed, the Poverty Rate for seniors in Kiryas Joel in 2017 was 19.5% which was similar to the 18.4% Poverty Rate for seniors across New York City and 22.5% for seniors in Brooklyn.

Press release by OJPAC

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18 COMMENTS

  1. All it means – can’t hide the cash anymore!
    This article written by OJPAC – Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council that is trying to whitewash the true problem. The problem is the fact that over 80% of Kiryas Joel take some form of govt help is not address in the article.
    And, yes! poverty is based on how large the family is. A family of 2 children needs considerable less to live than a family of 10. In America every child born will be costing the parents a bare minimum of over 150,000 to raise the child until the age of 18. In religious families the cost is much higher because of Yeshivas and weddings. where the cost can reach 250,000. The non-chassidish community are lately not having more than 4-5 kids, because they realize they cannot afford more.
    It is easy to have children and put the burden on the rest of society. This is causing much anti-semitism by the local people who feel they have to limit the size of their families due to their income, but are forced to pay taxes to support others who just don’t care. If all communities in America – over 80% took gov’t help we would collapse as a society in a matter of months.
    This is the problem – If the Chassidic communities want to have large families, why don’t the Yeshivas train the student in some field of work so they can live an honorable life, But no – no training! don’t waste several hours a week and then when out in the world, live in poverty off the rest of society.

  2. How about the Hasidic households in New Square and other parts of Ramapo. I’m sorry to say but I wouldn’t believe data that is given by someone who doesn’t even have a High School diploma.

    • The data is US census data, and yes that stuff is crunched by Ph.D.’s. and frankly I would never hire a HS grad from NYC public schools unless they are graduates of Bronx School of Science, Stuyvesant or Brooklyn Tech, a NYC high school diploma is not worth the paper its printed on.

  3. I would qualify this as “Reported Income” is up!

    But perhaps someone can clarify this line for me:
    “…because income in most KJ households is generated by the males.”
    Is this true? Do women in KJ not have stores at home? run playgroups at home, and sheitel machers etc?
    It sounds from this like very few women in KJ work.

  4. You all comments are full with sinas chinom, and 0% eminah. And full of kefirah . ( Of course beshogeg you never learned shar habitochen, if yes then your just a pure american kofer)

  5. You all comments are full with sinas chinom, and 0% eminah. And full of kefirah . ( Of course beshogeg you never learned shar habitochen, if yes then your just a pure american kofer)

  6. You all comments are full with sinas chinom, and 0% eminah. And full of kefirah . ( Of course beshogeg you never learned shar habitochen, if yes then your just a pure american kofer)

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