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World Jewish Population, 1989: Updated Estimates

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Publication Date: January 1991

Publisher(s): American Jewish Committee

Author(s): Sergio DellaPergola; Uziel O. Schmelz

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Population and demographics (Demography and census)

Keywords: Academic Research; World Jewry; Jewish Identification; Demography

Type: Report


This article presents updates (as of the end of 1989), on population estimates of world Jewry. Approximately 96 percent of world Jewry is concentrated in ten countries. The aggregate of these ten major Jewish population centers virtually determines the assessment of the size of total world Jewry, estimated at 12.8 million in 1989. During the same year, data collection projects relevant to Jewish population estimates were in planning or already underway in several countries. Two important sources have already yielded results on major Jewish populations: the official population census of the Soviet Union held in 1989, and the National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS) in the United States, completed in 1990. The respective results basically confirm both the estimates reported in previous American Jewish Year Book volumes and their interpretation of the trends now prevailing in the demography of world Jewry.

In American Jewish Yearbook (1991).