The most striking feature of Jewish demography this past year was the perpetuation of patterns from earlier years, with slow growth in the number of Jews around the world. The demographic gauge therefore remains unchanged.
In 2017, some 100,000 people joined world Jewry, whose total population is now 14.6 million2. Significant aspects of Jewish demography worldwide include the growth of Israel’s Jewish population from 6,446,100 in early 2017 to 6,554,500 by the beginning of 2018, and stability in the American Jewish population, at 5.7 million (U.S. and Israeli Jewry constitute the world’s two largest contemporary Jewish communities). According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, 27,000 new immigrants arrived in Israel in 2017 – a thousand more than the previous year. The main countries of origin were Russia, Ukraine, France, and the United States. More specifically, three-fourths of the immigrants arrived from Europe, another 15 percent from the Americas and Oceania, and 9 percent from Asia-Africa.
The fertility rate of Jewish Israeli women continued to climb: from 3.09 in 2014 to 3.11 in 2015, and 3.16 in 2016. The (negative) balance of Israelis who leave the country and return after a year or more abroad has remained more or less stable in recent years though in 2016 the number declined slightly to approximately 6,300 reflecting both a diminution in departures and an increase in return migration to Israel.
The ratio between Jews and non-Jews in Israel (including Jewish settlers in the West Bank) remained unchanged: 79 versus 21 percent.
1 Data on Israel derive from publications and media releases of the Central Bureau of Statistics
2 Sergio DellaPergoa. 2018. World jewish Population, 2018. In: A. Dashefsky and I. Sheskin (eds.) American Jewish Year Book, 2018 (forthcoming).