The Jewish population in the U.K., according to the 2001 Census, was 266,740. However, the real figure was probably higher in reality. David Graham and Stanley Waterman, who published an article on this issue in Population, Space and Place (2005, 11.2, pp89-102), give several reasons why the figures are distorted for censuses in general: the question of religious affiliation did not record secular Jews; the voluntary nature of the question (people did not have to answer); the suspicion by Jews of such questions; and the high non-response rate from large numbers of Charedi Jews.
Nevertheless, the U.K. boasts the fifth-largest Jewish population worldwide, after Israel, the U.S.A., France and Canada, and this makes the U.K. the second-largest population of Jews in Europe.
Since the 2001 Census, this number has increased from approximately 275,000 in 2005 to approximately 280,000 in 2008, largely due to high Charedi birth rate. 75% of Jewish births are attributed to Charedi Jews, who have on average about 7 children per couple.
About 66% of British Jews live in Greater London, mostly concentrated in the London Boroughs of Barnet (1 in 5 people are Jewish) and Hertsmere (1 in 9 people are Jewish). Manchester has about 30,000 Jewish residents, Leeds has 9,000, Liverpool has 3,000, Birmingham approximately 1,800 and Gateshead has 500.
According to the 2001 census, approximately 6,400 Jews live in Scotland, making up .13% of the overall Scottish population with 5,000 living in Glasgow.
Cardiff has 941 (The Jewish Year Book 2005)
54.7% of British Jews are Orthodox, 10.9% are Ultra-Orthodox, 19.4% are Reform, 2.7% are Masorti, 8.7% are Liberal and 3.5% are Sephardi.
About 60% of Jewish children attend Jewish schools. UJS is the umbrella organisation for over 50 Jewish Societies at universities nationwide. Both Jewish and secular education is highly prized within the U.K. Jewish community, and Jews are very highly represented in many academic fields. They are also 80% more likely to have a higher educational qualification than the general population.