With nearly 16 million Jews living worldwide today, population numbers have nearly reached pre-Holocaust levels. The numbers come from a report released by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), a Jerusalem-based independent think tank.
World Jewry numbered 16.6 million before the Nazi Holocaust wiped out an estimated 6 million Jewish men, women and children between 1939 and 1945. According to the JPPI report, the roughly 11 million Jews remaining after 1945 have steadily increased, with 14.2 million Jews reported early this year.
This number only takes into account those considered Jewish by halacha, or Jewish law, which would only be those born to a Jewish mother. Taking into account those born to mixed marriages and other immigrants to Israel, that number leaps to almost 16 million.
The decade between 2005 and 2015 saw the highest rate of population growth, at 8 percent.
Within Israel, Jews made up 82 percent of the population at the time of the state’s founding in 1948. By 1958, they made up 89 percent of the Israeli population, but today, following a decline in the number of Jews compared to the general population, they make up only 75 percent, with 6,103,200. The US is home to the world’s second-largest Jewish population, at 5,700,000.
This is the JPPI’s 11th annual report, and was presented to the Israeli Knesset on Sunday.