Over the last 3,500 years, Judaism has expanded from its Middle Eastern birthplace to almost every region of the world. Many of the guiding principles of contemporary society may be traced back to Jewish ideas and values.
Late in the year 2021 (Rosh Hashanah 5782), there were around 15.2 million Jews alive (and rising).
The Holocaust during World War II caused the worldwide Jewish population to plummet from 16.7 million in 1939 to less than 11 million by the war’s conclusion. Estimates of the Jewish population today are very context-dependent.
The number decreases significantly if only Orthodox Jews are included, but increases dramatically if persons of Jewish ancestry but no religious observance are included.
Judaism has the lowest percentage of the global population of any of the five main world faiths (Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam), with just 0.19%.
Only 31.1% and 24.9% of the global population adhere to Christianity and Islam, respectively, although both religions originated as offshoots of Judaism, which predates them by millennia.
Simply put, there are 173 Christians and 138 Muslims for every Jew. According to a Pew Research data prediction for 2020, Christianity had 2,382 million adherents worldwide, Islam had 1,907 million, Hinduism had 1,161 million, and Buddhism had 506 million.
Updated 2021 data was not available at the time the project was completed.
Jewish Population Distribution Across the World
Jews may be found in just about every nation, although the great majority live in either Israel or the United States. Israel is home to the largest Jewish population of any nation, an estimated 6.9 million Jews as of 2021.
There are Jews make up 74.2% of the population in Israel. Israel is significant to Jews because it is their traditional homeland and because Jerusalem, the Jewish holy city, is located there.
Around 6 million Jews call the United States home, making it home to the world’s second-largest Jewish community. New York City has a greater concentration of Jews than any other metropolis.
Around 1,728,000 Jews are living in the New York metropolitan region. Jews make up more than a third of the population in the borough of Brooklyn.
In 2021, it was predicted that there will be between 446,000 and 91,500 Jews living in the following eight nations with the greatest Jewish populations.
With 446,000, France is first, followed by Canada with 393,500 and the United Kingdom with 292,000. There are also sizable Jewish communities in Argentina, Russia, Germany, Australia, and Brazil.
There are three types of Jews: Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, and Sephardi
When used for all people of Jewish heritage, the word Jew may be too simplistic, failing to capture the rich variety of cultures and ethnicities that have developed in the wake of the so-called Jewish diaspora.
As a result of exile and persecution, Jews have historically been dispersed over the globe from their ancient country of Israel, a phenomenon known as the Jewish diaspora.
When the Jews were expelled, they dispersed over Afro-Eurasia, living in several locations and giving rise to numerous culturally distinct subgroups.
Also See: Newest Countries 2022
Many Jewish communities today still observe many of the same rituals and customs that were common before the first exodus from Israel, although they have also diversified (and faced new forms of intolerance and persecution) in the centuries afterwards.
- Ashkenazi — The approximately 10 million Ashkenazi are frequently categorised as European since they are descended from Jews who fled to the north and settled in France, Germany, and Eastern Europe during their exile. Ashkenazi Jews make up the majority of American Jews, however many Americans of Ashkenazi background do not identify as Jews but are proud of their heritage.
- Mizrahi — Mizrahi people number about 4.6 million and trace their ancestry back to Jews who lived in Southwest Asia and portions of Northern Africa not too distant from Israel. About a third of Israel’s Jewish population, or 3.2 million people, identify as Mizrahi.
- Sephardi — The roughly 900,000 Jews who identify as Sephardic now may trace their ancestry back to a time when they were living in what is now Spain (Spain and Portugal). The Sephardic Jews were forced out of their new country in the 15th century and dispersed to the furthest reaches of North Africa, Southern Europe, & Western Asia, all of which border the Mediterranean Sea.
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