Overview

As of 2010, there were about 14 million Jews around the world, representing 0.2% of the global population. In 2050, the Jewish population is expected to number about 16 million. The share of the world’s population that is Jewish – 0.2% – is expected to remain about the same in 2050 as it was in 2010. This estimate is based on the number of people who self-identify as Jewish when asked about their religion on national censuses and large-scale surveys. However, the worldwide figure could be larger if a broader definition (such as having a Jewish grandparent) or smaller if a tighter definition (such as an unbroken line of matrilineal Jewish descent) were imposed.

Jews were largely concentrated in North America (44%) and the Middle East-North Africa region (41%) in 2010. Most of the remainder of the global Jewish population was found in Europe (10%) and the Latin America-Caribbean region (3%). In 2050, a majority of the world’s Jews (51%) are expected to live in the Middle East and North Africa (mostly Israel), while more than a third (37%) will live in North America. The share of the global Jewish population living in Europe is projected to decline to less than 8% by 2050.

It is difficult to estimate the size of different Jewish movements globally because they are not necessarily familiar or relevant to Jews across countries. For example, the main branches of Judaism in the United States include the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements, but in Israel and elsewhere, distinctions are often made between Haredi or Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Modern Orthodox Jews and less traditional forms of Judaism.

Explore population characteristics of Jews using Topics & Questions or the Data Explorer.