World Jewish Population Totals 15.2 Million – With Nearly Half in Israel

The number of Jews globally is still some 1.4 million fewer than on the eve of World War II in 1939, according to figures published by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics

Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
Ultra-Orthodox men participating in a blessing at the Western Wall last week.
Ultra-Orthodox men participating in a blessing at the Western Wall last week.Credit: Tsafrir Abayov/AP
Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz

The world’s Jewish population, most recently estimated at 15.2 million, has still not recovered to its pre-Holocaust levels, according to figures published Monday by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.

The figures show that in 1939, on the eve of World War II, the number of Jews worldwide totaled 16.6 million.

The distribution of the world’s Jewish population has changed dramatically since then, according to the CBS.

Of the 15.2 million Jews worldwide at the end of 2020 (when the number was last calculated), nearly half were based in Israel. That compares to only 3 percent in 1939.

In 1948, the year Israel was founded, the number of Jews worldwide totaled 11.5 million. About 6 percent of them lived in Israel then.

According to the CBS, a total of 165,000 Holocaust survivors reside in Israel today.

Of the 15.2 million Jews worldwide, 6.9 million live in Israel. The other main centers of Jewish life are the United States (6 million), France (445,000), Canada (393,000), the United Kingdom (292,000), Argentina (175,000), Russia (150,000) and Germany (118,000).

These figures refer to the “core Jewish population” in each of those countries – defined as individuals who identify as Jewish and have no other religion.

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