On the eve of the Jewish New Year 5779, there are some 14.7 million Jews in the world, a rise of about 100,000 since last year, with the vast majority of them in Israel and the United States.
According to figures released by Hebrew University demographer Sergio Della Pergola, Israel is home to the world’s largest Jewish population, with some 6.6 million Jews in Israel.
Another 8.1 million Jews live outside Israel, with some 5.7 million living in the US. Other significant populations include France (453,000), Canada (391,000), and the UK (290,000).
According to studies conducted by Della Pergola, the world’s Jewish population has been rising by about 100,000 per year. The 0.7 percent growth rate is significantly lower than the overall global population growth rate of 1.1 percent.
The criteria used to define Jews were anybody who defined themselves as Jewish and did not identify with another religion. However, the research also found that there are 23.5 million people who would qualify to emigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.
Israel’s Law of Return gives every Jew, or child or grandchild of a Jew, the right to Israeli citizenship on demand.
According to Della Pergola, Arab and Muslim nations are home to just 27,000 Jews, with 15,000 in Turkey, 8,500 in Iran, and 2,000 in Morocco. The Muslim world was home to an estimated 850,000 Jews before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
In contrast, Germany is today home to 119,000 Jews, up from some 37,000 Jews immediately after the Second World War. Six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
There are a total of 98 countries that are home to 100 or more Jews, the new data established.