Elevated Jewish Mortality from Coronavirus in England and Wales: An Epidemiological and Demographic Detective Story
23 April 2021
In June 2020, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in England and Wales published the results of an investigation into mortality from COVID-19 by religious group. The analysis revealed a significant “Jewish penalty”: coronavirus mortality of Jews was shown to be relatively high compared to the British Christian majority. This paper considers these findings in the light of the literature on Jewish mortality and undertakes a re-analysis of the results alongside the additional data on Jewish deaths provided by the British Jewish communal statistics. It asks two questions: (1) To what extent is elevated British Jewish mortality from COVID-19 a result of the presence of long-standing vulnerability and ill health among Jews? (2) What role do strictly Orthodox Jews play in elevating coronavirus mortality levels among British Jews? The primary contribution of the paper is to explore, via analyses of alternative data sources, the ONS finding of elevated Jewish mortality from coronavirus, to explain why it is surprising, to test whether it is real and to eliminate certain explanations. Such process of elimination in itself will highlight other alternative explanations, but the paper falls short of decisively explaining the phenomenon of the elevated British Jewish mortality from coronavirus. It ends with an outline of future directions of research in this area.
Coronavirus/Covid Demography Main Topic: Demography and Migration Health Haredi / Strictly Orthodox Jews
Link to article including link to pdf, Elevated Jewish Mortality from Coronavirus in England and Wales: An Epidemiological and Demographic Detective Story
Elevated Jewish Mortality from Coronavirus in England and Wales: An Epidemiological and Demographic Detective Story. 23 April 2021: https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1007/s12397-021-09366-2