Jewish Population

Level: Basic

  • There are about 13-14 million Jews in the world
  • About 80% of them live in Israel and the United States

How many Jews are there in the world? That's a difficult question to answer, because not every country keeps track of such things, and not every Jew chooses to admit such things, particularly in countries where Jews are persecuted.

Most estimates I have seen suggest that there are about 15 million Jews in the world. The vast majority of these Jews live in either the United States or Israel; Israel with about 6.9 million Jews and America with about 6 million. There are about 1.3 million Jews in Europe, many of them in France which at 446,000 has the third largest Jewish population in the world. There are 400,000 in Canada and 375,000 in Latin America. In Africa, there are less than 60,000 Jews, about 92% of whom live in the country of South Africa. There are about 125,000 Jews in Australia and New Zealand combined. There are about 35,000 Jews in Asia (not including Israel), 40% of them in former Soviet Union countries.

These numbers are up a little more than a million (mostly in the US and Israel) since I first wrote this page in 1998, while the world population has grown by 2 billion (33%) and United States population has grown by almost 20%. If Jewish world population growth had kept up with US population growth in that time, there would be 16.8 million Jews in the world today, finally exceeding the number of Jews estimated before the Holocaust, but we are still not there. Jewish population has been largely stagnant for a very long time, growing only about 40% since the Holocaust while the US population has much more than doubled in that time.

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