Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
A poster outside a photo exhibition of the last Holocaust survivors at Safra Square in Jerusalem, April 8, 2021.

On the eve of World War II, in 1939, there were 16.6 million Jews in the world, of whom only about 450 thousand, or 3%, lived in Palestine/Eretz Israel. Ten years or so later, in 1948, the world’s Jewish population was cut down to 11.5 million, of whom 650 thousand, 6%, lived in Israel.

In January 2022, there were a total of 15.3 million Jews in the world––not quite as many as there were before the Holocaust––and 7 million of them, about 46%, lived in Israel, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics.


At the end of 2022, the number of people who lived in Israel and were officially recognized as Holocaust Survivors was about 168 thousand. Roughly 13 thousand survivors died in 2022, so, as of 2023, 147,199 Holocaust survivors or victims of antisemitic actions during the Holocaust are living in Israel.

Women constitute 61% of all Holocaust survivors – 102.9 thousand. Men only 39% – 65 thousand.

4.5% of the survivors immigrated to Israel even before the establishment of the state, in the years 1933-1947. About a third (31.7%) of the survivors immigrated to Israel in the great wave of immigration (1948-1951) after the establishment of the state. Another 29.7% immigrated in the years 1952-1989, and about a third (34.1%) immigrated since the 1990s, during the last wave of immigration from the former USSR.

In a 2021 survey, 87% of Holocaust survivors reported they were “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their lives, similar to 88% of all Israelis aged 76 and over.

17.3% of Holocaust survivors often felt lonely, compared to 12.6% of all Israelis aged 76 and over.

Diaspora Jews, which still account for about 54% of world Jewry, include 6+ million who live in the United States––a number that has been bandied about since the 1970s and should probably be reevaluated and include a definition of “who is a Jew” in America.

The number of Jews in the United States has been the subject of much debate because of questions about the methodology used by the various surveys. In 2012, Sheskin and Dashefsky put forward a figure of 6.72 million based on a mixture of local surveys, informed local estimates, and US census data. However, they cautioned that their estimate may have included double counting. The Steinhardt Social Research Institute in 2013 released an estimate of 6.8 million Jews in the United States.

But Israeli demographer Sergio Della Pergola in 2012 offered 5,425,000 as the accurate count and suggested the higher estimates were “implausible” and “unreliable.” Eventually, he upped his figure for US Jews to 5.7 million.

In France, there are 442,000 Jews, in Canada 392,000, in the UK 292,000, in Argentina 173,000, in Russia 145,000, in Germany 118,000, and in Australia 118,000.


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