Jewish Population Rises to 14.8 Million Worldwide

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As we prepare to welcome 5780, the number of Jews worldwide stands at 14.8 million, compared to 14.7 million in 5779. Of these, 8.1 million live outside Israel (including 5.7 million in the United States). In Israel, the number of Jews is 6.7 million (compared to 6.6 million in 5779). The updated estimates were published by Professor Sergio Della Pergola of Hebrew University in the American Jewish Year Book 2019.

The numbers include those who define themselves as Jews and who do not identify with another religion. When including those who are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, the number rises to 23.6 million people, of whom 16.5 million live outside Israel.

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog said that: “In the past year, tens of thousands of people have made aliyah with assistance from The Jewish Agency for Israel, along with tens of thousands of young Jews who visited Israel on educational programs such as Masa Israel Journey. The Jewish Agency continues to act as a bridge between Israel and Jewish communities, and address the main challenges facing the Jewish people in Israel and worldwide. Chief among these is combating anti-Semitism, which has risen dramatically over the past year, along with the continuation of efforts to connect young Jews around the world to Israel against the backdrop of the BDS movements.”

Jewish populations of additional countries:

France: 450,000
Canada: 392,000
Great Britain: 292,000
Argentina: 180,000
Russia: 165,000
Germany: 118,000
Australia: 118,000
Brazil: 93,000
South Africa: 67,000
Ukraine: 48,000
Hungary: 47,000
Mexico: 40,000
Holland: 30,000
Belgium: 29,000
Italy: 27,000
Switzerland: 19,000
Chile: 18,000
Uruguay: 16,000
Sweden: 15,000
Spain: 12,000

Additional statistics from the study include:

Around 26,000 Jews live in Arab and Muslim states, of whom 15,000 live in Turkey, around 8,500 in Iran, around 2,000 in Morocco, and approximately 1,000 in Tunisia.

Countries with Jewish populations of 500 or fewer include: Bermuda, Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Curacao, the Virgin Islands, Bolivia, Surinam, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Congo, Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Syria and Egypt.

The number of people waiting to make Aliyah to Israel from Ethiopia is around 8,000.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

3 COMMENTS

  1. This figure is way off. It is counting non-Jews (who underwent a false conversion or are paternal descent or descendents thereof) and it is not counting halachic Jews who don’t identify as Jewish.

  2. Joseph and others, we really have to that these demographic counts with a grain of salt. Besides for the mentioned halachically invalid conversions, we are also facing a large issue of many Jews married to non-Jews (depending on the most situations they and their children are either not Jewish or Jewish but having zero relevance and involvement with Judaism. Many Jews today may think it’s acceptable to pick and choose which mitzvos they keep, but what happens is that their own children water it down even more. A Drasha I heard a few years ago discussed about the “Yizkor Jews” dying off, and their children not even knowing what Yizkor even is, let alone reciting it. I’d think it would be logical to assume that the overall global Jewish population is actually shrinking (taking into account Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist). However at the end of the day what matters is one and his/her family’s personal “ownership” and enthusiastic involvement towards securing a frum lifestyle, ensuring the next generation is even stronger.