News & Politics

Pew Research Debunks Anti-Semitic Claim Falsely Sourced to Its Study

A short time ago, fliers appeared at the University of Illinois at Chicago discussing “Jewish Privilege,” and making other extraordinary anti-Semitic claims.

One flyer claimed that Jews make up two percent of the United States population but 44 percent of the “One Percent,” and cited Pew Research as the source of the claim.

Well — surprise, surprise — apparently anti-Semites lie:

While this was only one of the many anti-Semitic posters put up around the campus — subsequent variations questioned the propriety of accepting donations from Jewish donors and complained about the percentage of Jewish students at several universities — the original had one particular flaw that made it stand out from the others.

According to the Pew Research Center, the claims made in that poster are not actually supported by the organization’s research.

“While it is true that Jews are roughly 2% of the U.S. population and that 44% of U.S. Jews report a household income of $100,000 or more, the poster’s claims about income distribution among American Jews are groundless and should not be attributed to the Pew Research Center,” Director of Religion Research Alan Cooperman told Campus Reform. “We do not know what share of Jews are in the top 1% U.S. of individual income earners and have never reported such a figure.”

In reality, the poster’s implicit assumption that a household income of $100,000 or more places it in the top one-percent of earners is outdated, according to, which reports that roughly 20 percent of U.S. households hit that mark.

Cooperman also noted that the $100,000 annual income figure is for combined household income. In other words, a husband and wife, each making $50,000 per year — not an unheard-of sum — will easily land them in that income range without either being part of the “one percent” by any stretch of the imagination.

By including links to Pew’s research, the creator of the flier attempted to add credence to their anti-Semitic claim. They presented an incomplete picture to gin up animosity towards an ethnic group that, year after year, is far and away the most commonly targeted U.S. population in hate crimes.