World Jewish Population on Eve of New Year – 14.7 Million

Jewish Agency figures reveal that 8,500 Jews live in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and 1,000 in Tunisia; fewer than 500 in Syria, Egypt and Yemen

Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz
Members of a Jewish community in Uzbekistan eating a meal together, February 4, 2018.
Members of a Jewish community in Uzbekistan eating a meal together, February 4, 2018.Credit: Peter Turnley / Corbis / VCG via
Judy Maltz
Judy Maltz

On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the world Jewish population totals 14.7 million – hardly changed (an increase of 0.01 percent) from a year ago, according to figures published Sunday by the Jewish Agency.

Of the total, 6.6 million Jews (45 percent) live in Israel, and among the 8.1 million Jews who live outside Israel, 5.7 million (70 percent) live in the United States.

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The figures were calculated by Professor Sergio Della Pergola, Israel’s leading expert on Jewish demography. They refer to what is defined as the “core Jewish population” of the world – all individuals who identify in surveys as Jewish and do not have another religion. It also includes individuals with a Jewish parent who claim no religious or ethnic identity.

FILE PHOTO: Syrian Jews celebrating Passover at a synagogue in Damascus, Syria, 2008.Credit: Bassem Tellawi,AP

The number of individuals around the world eligible to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return is much larger and totals 23.5 million today. This figure includes all individuals who have at least one Jewish grandparent, are married to a Jew or who converted to Judaism in an established Jewish community.

According to the Jewish Agency figures, a total of 27,000 Jews live in Arab countries today – 15,000 in Turkey, 8,500 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and 1,000 in Tunisia. Fewer than 500 Jews live in each of the following countries: Yemen, Syria and Egypt.

After Israel and the United States, the country with the largest Jewish population is France with 453,000, followed by Canada with 391,000, Britain with 290,000, Argentina with 180,000, Russia with 172,000, Germany with 116,000, Australia with 113,000, Brazil with 93,000, South Africa with 69,000, Ukraine with 50,000, Hungary with 47,000, Mexico with 40,000, Holland with 30,000, Belgium with 29,000, Italy with 28,000, Switzerland with 19,000 and Chile with 18,000.

According to the Jewish Agency figures, 98 countries in the world have at least 100 Jews living in them.

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