Jews celebrating Purim in Beersheva, 2018. (Shutterstock) (Shutterstock)
Jews

Approximately 45 percent of the world’s Jews live in Israel;

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

According to Jewish Agency data revealed to Israel’s Walla News ahead of Rosh HaShanah, there are 15.2 million Jews in the world.

The stats were gathered for the Jewish Agency by Professor Sergio Della Pergola of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The figures only included people who identified themselves as Jewish and not any other religious identity, Walla reported.

According to Walla, if the numbers identified people based on whether they qualified for Israel’s Law of Return, the world’s Jewish population would be 25.3 million. The Law of Return, which was last amended in 1970, allows a person to immigrate as long as he or she has one Jewish grandparent.

Roughly 6.93 million — or 45 percent — of the world’s Jewish population, now lives in Israel.

The largest diaspora population, not surprisingly, is the United States with around six million Jews.

The next largest Jewish communities are in France with 446,000, followed by Canada (393,000) and the United Kingdom (292,000).

Meanwhile, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics also released its latest numbers on the Israeli population.

Israel’s population currently stands at 9.3 million. Since last Rosh HaShanah, the population has grown by around 146,000, or 1.6%.

The demographic breakdown came to Jews comprising 74 percent of the population, followed by Arabs (21%), with the remainder being non-Arab Christians, people of other religions or not identifying any religion.

The CBS also forecast Israel’s population to reach 10 million by the end of 2024, and 20 million by 2065.

The figures included citizens, permanent residents and residents of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Palestinians living under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority were not counted.

Jewish demographics continuing to shift towards Israel will have ramifications down the road in terms of Jewish identity, Diaspora support for Israel, Israeli society and how organized Jewry allocates resources. The observance of certain religious laws may also change to account for the majority of Jews living in the Holy Land.

While these issues may make for heated conversations, the Jewish people are still a small number relative to the rest of the world. According to World Bank estimates, the world’s population is 7.6 billion. Based on those figures, Jews make up 0.002 percent of the world’s population.

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