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As of 2022,[update] the world's core Jewish population (those identifying as Jews above all else) was estimated at 15.2 million, 0.2% of the 8 billion worldwide population. Israel hosts the largest core Jewish population in the world with 6,983,000, followed by the United States with 6,000,000. Other countries with core Jewish populations above 100,000 include France (442,000), Canada (394,000), the United Kingdom (292,000), Argentina (173,000), the Russian Federation (145,000), Australia (118,200) and Germany (118,000). The number of Jews worldwide rises to 18 million with the addition of the "connected" Jewish population, including those who say they are partly Jewish or that have Jewish backgrounds from at least one Jewish parent, and rises again to 21 million with the addition of the "enlarged" Jewish population, including those who say they have Jewish backgrounds but no Jewish parents and all non-Jewish household members who live with Jews. Counting all those who are eligible for Israeli citizenship under Israel's Law of Return, in addition to Israeli Jews, raised the total to 25.5 million.
Two countries account for 81% of those recognised as Jews or of sufficient Jewish ancestry to be eligible for citizenship in Israel under its Law of Return: the United States with 51% and Israel with 30% (including the West Bank with 2%). An additional 16% is split between France (3%), Canada (3%), Russia (3%), the United Kingdom (2%), Argentina (1%), Germany (1%), Ukraine (1%), Brazil (1%), Australia (1%), and Hungary (1%), while the remaining 3% are spread around approximately 98 other countries and territories with less than 0.5% each. With nearly 6.9 million Jews, Israel is the only Jewish-majority country and the only explicitly Jewish state.
In 1939, the core Jewish population reached its historical peak of 17 million. Due to the Holocaust, this number was reduced to 11 million by 1945. The population grew to around 13 million by the 1970s and then recorded almost no growth until around 2005, due to low fertility rates and assimilation of Jews. From 2005 to 2018, the world's Jewish population grew 0.63% annually on average, while world population overall grew 1.1% annually in the same period. This increase primarily reflected the rapid growth of Haredi and some Orthodox sectors, who remain a growing proportion of Jews.
Recent Jewish population dynamics are characterized by continued steady increase in the Israeli Jewish population and flat or declining numbers in other countries (the diaspora). Jewish immigration to Palestine began in earnest following the 1839 Tanzimat reforms; between 1840 and 1880, the Jewish population of Palestine rose from 9,000 to 23,000. In the late 19th century, 99.7% of the world's Jews lived outside the region, with Jews representing 2–5% of the population of the Palestine region. Through the first five phases of Aliyah, the Jewish population rose to 630,000 by the inception of the state of Israel in 1948. By 2014 this had risen to 6,135,000, while the population of the diaspora has dropped from 10.5 to 8.1 million over the same period. Current Israeli Jewish demographics are characterized by a relatively high fertility rate of 3 children per woman and a stable age distribution. The overall growth rate of Jews in Israel is 1.7% annually. The diaspora countries, by contrast, have low Jewish birth rates, an increasingly elderly age composition, and a negative balance of people leaving Judaism versus those joining. Immigration trends also favour Israel ahead of diaspora countries. The Jewish state has a positive immigration balance (called aliyah in Hebrew). Israel saw its Jewish numbers significantly buoyed by a million-strong wave of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, and immigration growth has been steady (in the low tens of thousands) since then.
Rest of the world
In general, the modern English-speaking world has seen an increase in its share of the diaspora since the Holocaust and the foundation of Israel, while historic diaspora Jewish populations in Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East have significantly declined or disappeared. France continues to be home to the world's third largest Jewish community, at around 500,000, but has shown an increasingly negative trend. As a long-term trend, intermarriage has reduced its "core" Jewish population and increased its "connected" and "enlarged" Jewish populations. More recently, migration loss to Israel amongst French Jews reached the tens of thousands between 2014 and 2017, following a wave of anti-Semitic attacks. According to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey, over the next four decades the number of Jews around the world is expected to increase from 14.2 million in 2015 to 16.4 million in 2060.
Debate over United States numbers
The number of Jews in the United States has been much debated because of questions over counting methodology. In 2012, Sheskin and Dashefsky put forward a figure of 6.72 million based on a mixture of local surveys, informed local estimates, and US census data. They qualified their estimate with a concern over double counting and suggested the real figure may lie between 6 and 6.4 million. Drawing on their work, the Steinhardt Social Research Institute released their own estimate of 6.8 million Jews in the United States in 2013. These figures are in contrast to Israeli demographer Sergio Della Pergola's number of 5,425,000, also in 2012. He has called high estimates “implausible” and “unreliable” although he revised the United States Jewish number upward to 5.7 million in subsequent years. This controversy followed a similar debate in 2001 when the National Jewish Population Survey released a United States Jewish estimate as low as 5.2 million only to have serious methodological errors suggested in their survey. In sum, a confidence interval of a million or more people is likely to persist in reporting on the number of Jewish Americans.
In 2020, the Pew Research Center's Jewish Americans in 2020 study estimated there were 5.8 million adult Jews in the United States and 1.8 million children of at least one Jewish parent being raised as Jewish in some way, for a total of 7.5 million Jews, 2.5% of the national population. According to Sergio Della Pergola's narrower definition, which count children and adult Jews without religious affiliation only if they have two Jewish parents, this corresponds to 4.8 million Jewish adults and 1.2 million Jewish children in 2020. The American Jewish Population Project at Brandeis University, which synthesizes survey data from the 50 states and DC, estimates there are 7.63 million American Jews, 6 million adults and 1.6 million children.
Below is a list of Jewish populations in the world by country. All data below, except the last column, are from the Berman Jewish DataBank at Stanford University in the World Jewish Population (2020) report coordinated by Sergio DellaPergola at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The Jewish DataBank figures are primarily based on national censuses combined with trend analysis:
- Core Jewish population refers to those who consider themselves Jews to the exclusion of all else.
- Connected Jewish population includes the core Jewish population and additionally those who say they are partly Jewish or that have Jewish background from at least one Jewish parent.
- Enlarged Jewish population includes the Jewish connected population and those who say they have Jewish background but not a Jewish parent, and all non-Jews living in households with Jews.
- Eligible Jewish population includes all those eligible for immigration to Israel under its Law of Return.
- National official population is the Jewish population reported by a national source. Note that the "National" results may not be entirely accurate, as other sources may have conflicting accounts of Jewish populations in some countries.
|Countries||Core population||Connected population||Enlarged population||Eligible population||National|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||500||0.0031||140||800||0.0044||224||1,100||0.0052||308||1,400||0.0059||392||262|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||500||0.0031||3,810||600||0.0033||5,715||700||0.0033||6,668||800||0.0034||7,620||—|
|British Virgin Islands||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||11|
- pct = percent of total world population
- pmp = per million people in country
- Including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, not including the Judea & Samaria.
- Figures includes France and Monaco. See: History of the Jews in France and History of the Jews in Monaco.
- West Bank total population (without East Jerusalem): 2,548,700; Gaza: 1,839,900; Total: 4,388,600. The West Bank also includes 404,600 Jews and 8,600 non-Jewish Israelis, for a total of 413,200 Jews and others. The Jewish population of the West Bank consists of Israeli citizens living in Israeli settlements who are treated as residents of Israel under Israeli law. The reported West Bank total of 2,961,900 includes Palestinian, Jewish and other residents.
- Including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
- Figures include mainland China and Hong Kong SAR. See: History of the Jews in China and History of the Jews in Hong Kong.
- Includes Lebanon.
Remnant and vanished populations
The above table represents Jews that number at least a few dozen per country. Reports exist of Jewish communities remaining in other territories in the low single digits that are on the verge of disappearing, particularly in the Muslim world, as their reaction to the birth of Israel in 1948 was the persecution of Jews in nearly all Muslim lands; these are often of historical interest as they represent the remnant of much larger Jewish populations. For example, Egypt had a Jewish community of 80,000 in the early 20th century that numbered fewer than 40 as of 2014, mainly because of the forced expulsion movements to Israel and other countries at that time. Despite a 2,000 year history of Jewish presence, there are no longer any known Jews living in Afghanistan, as its last Jewish residents Zablon Simintov and Tova Moradi, fled the country in September and October 2021 respectively.
In Syria, another ancient Jewish community saw mass exodus at the end of the 20th century and numbered fewer than 20 in the midst of the Syrian Civil War. The size of the Jewish community in Indonesia has been variously given as 65, 100, or 18 at most over the last 50 years. In Yemen due to the ongoing civil war, the Yemenite Jews have faced persecution by the Houthis, who have demanded they convert to Islam or face mandatory expulsion from the country. The Israeli military has conducted operations evacuating the population and moving them to Israel. On 28 March 2021, 13 Jews were forced by the Houthis to leave Yemen, leaving the last four elderly Jews in Yemen. According to one report there are six Jews left in Yemen: one woman; her brother; three others, and Levi Salem Marahbi (who had been imprisoned for helping smuggle a Torah scroll out of Yemen).
- Historical Jewish population by country
- Historical Jewish population comparisons
- Jewish ethnic divisions
- Judaism by country
- Jewish population by city
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