According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, the number of Jews worldwide stands at approximately 15.2 million, compared to 15.1 million in 5781. In 1939, the global population of Jewish people reached 16.6 million, and shortly thereafter that population was decimated by the Nazis and their European henchmen from France, Holland and Belgium in the West to Poland, the Baltic States, and Ukraine in the East. In six years, the worldwide Jewish population had fallen by more than a third.
The number of Jews in Israel is close to 6.9 million (compared to 6.8 million in 5781), while about 8.3 million live outside Israel (including around 6 million in the United States). The updated estimates by Professor Sergio Della Pergola of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will be published in the American Jewish Year Book 2021.
The numbers include those who define themselves as Jews and do not identify with another religion. When including all the individuals who are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, the world total rises to 25.3 million people, of whom 7.3 million are in Israel and 18 million live outside Israel.
An estimated 45.3% of the world’s Jews live in Israel, an increase of half a percent over the previous year. The estimated number of Jews in the United States increased by 300,000 following a new survey by the Pew Research Center. The US estimates were corrected for previous years as well.
“The year 5781 was very challenging, living in the shadow of a global epidemic, yet more than anything, it taught us the true meaning of mutual responsibility among the Jewish people,” said Acting Jewish Agency Chairman Yaakov Hagoel. “Tens of thousands of new immigrants came to Israel with the help of The Jewish Agency despite the extreme difficulties in international travel, and thousands more young Jews came to Israel on Masa volunteer and career development programs. The Jewish Agency will continue to be a solid bridge of solidarity and mutual responsibility between each community and between the State of Israel and global Jewry.”
These are the updated world Jewish population figures from other countries:
Great Britain: 292,000
South Africa: 52,000
The Netherlands: 30,000
Around 27,000 Jews live in Arab and Muslim states, of whom 14,500 live in Turkey, around 9,500 in Iran, around 2,000 in Morocco, and approximately 1,000 in Tunisia.
Countries with Jewish populations of 500 or fewer include: United Arab Emirates, Bermuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Curacao, the Virgin Islands, Bolivia, Surinam, Cyprus, Malta, Slovenia, Bosnia, Albania, North Macedonia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Congo, Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Syria, and Egypt.
The number of people waiting to make Aliyah to Israel from Ethiopia is estimated at several thousands.