Number of Jews in Israel and worldwide on the rise

The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including those of other minority groups.

The population includes 3.3 million immigrants, according to the CBS. Twenty-eight thousand people immigrated to the country in 2018.

“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,” said Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog.

He said that the challenges the Jewish people in Israel and worldwide will face in the coming year include “combating antisemitism, 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 [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement.”

The number of Jews worldwide stands at 14.8 million, according to a separate report released on Thursday by the Jewish Agency. Of those, 5.7 million Jews live in the United States and 2.4 million in other countries in the Diaspora.

The second-largest Jewish community is in France with 450,000 Jews. There are also Jews living in Arab and Muslim states, including 15,000 in Turkey, around 8,000 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco and approximately 1,000 in Tunisia.

The updated estimates were published by Prof. Sergio Della Pergola of Hebrew University in the American Jewish Year Book 2019, and include those people who define themselves as Jews and do not identify with another religion.

When it comes to religion, the majority of Israelis are non-observant – 43% secular and 22% traditional. The rest of the population is divided between traditional-religious Jews (12.8%), religious (11.3%) and ultra-Orthodox (10%).

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