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More Jews Expected in Israel Than the Diaspora in 10 Years

February 7, 1992
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More Jews will be living in Israel than in the Diaspora 18 years from now, according to Hebrew University demographer Sergio DellaPergola.

It will not be due to a new upsurge of aliyah but because the Jewish birthrate in Israel is higher than in the Diaspora, DellaPergola said.

In any event, the world Jewish population is declining. It numbered 11 million after World War II, increased to 13 million in the 1960s, but has fallen steadily thereafter.

There are an estimated 12.8 million Jews in the world today, but that will probably be down to 12 million by the year 2010, DellaPergola said.

Of that number, 6.5 million Jews will live in Israel and 5.5 million in the rest of the world, compared to the present ratio of 4.1 million in Israel to 8.7 million in the Diaspora.

DellaPergola blames the overall decline of the Jewish population on the high rate of intermarriage, estimated at 45 to 50 percent in the United States, and the declining Jewish birthrate.

It is 1.5 children per couple in the Diaspora and 2.7 per couple in Israel.

The demographer believes parity between Jews and Arabs living in Israel and the administered territories is inevitable. But the influx of immigrants from the former Soviet Union has pushed back the date when it will be achieved.

Parity had been expected by 2015. But the 400,000 Jews arriving in the past three years have pushed the date back to 2019.

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