Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

World Jewish Population Estimated at 13,216,000; 5,660,000 in U.S.

October 22, 1965
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Jewish population in the United States is estimated to have been 5,660,000 at the beginning of this year, with the world Jewish population being 13,216,000, according to data compiled for the new edition of the American Jewish Year Book published today.

New York City has a Jewish population of 1,836,000, Nassau County 373,000, Westchester 131,000, and Suffolk 42,000. This makes for a total Jewish population in Greater New York of 2,383,000. Almost half of all the Jews in the U.S. — 2,678,175 — live in Greater New York and in the neighboring counties of New York State and New Jersey. Data given on Jews in other counties presents the following picture:

1. A total of 2,454,000 Jews were estimated to be in the Soviet Union, and another 285,000 elsewhere in the Soviet bloc.

2. Israel’s population at the end of 1964 was 2,531,000 — Jews numbering 2,244,700, with others, notably Arabs and Druses, numbering 286,500.

3. South America’s 689,950 Jews include 450,000 in Argentina (with 300,000 in Buenos Aires), 130,000 in Brazil, 50,000 in Uruguay, and 30,000 in Chile.

4. Other large concentrations of Jews were: France, 500,000; Great Britain, 450,000; Canada, 267,000; Rumania, 140,000; South Africa, 116,000; Morocco, 85,000; Hungary, 80,000; Iran, 80,000; Australia, 67,000.

5. In Cuba, 1964 marked a further decrease in Jewish population to 2,750. Political unrest in Latin American countries led to a certain amount of migration from one country to another, and some immigration abroad.

The great influx of immigration from North Africa to France has stopped but a small flow still continues. There has also been some emigration to Spain, mainly from North Africa, bringing the size of the Jewish community in Spain to between 4,000 and 6,000 persons.


One of every six American Jews considers himself Orthodox and Orthodox Judaism today represents “the only remaining vestige of Jewish passion” in the United States, according to a report in the new edition of the American Jewish Year Book. This positive report on Orthodox Judaism — most comprehensive ever to appear in a publication in this country — contradicts earlier predictions of the demise of Orthodoxy. It was written by Charles S. Liebman, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yeshiva University.

Acknowledging that his figures on Orthodox Judaism are estimates, Professor Liebman concludes that a total of 205,640 men are affiliated with the 1,603 known Orthodox synagogues in the U.S., and that as many as a third of the Jews who consider themselves Orthodox are not affiliated with any congregation. He gives no figures on the total numbers in Orthodox families although he cites a 3.3 figure for all Jewish families, and adds that Reform Jewish families are estimated at 3.5 individuals and Conservative Jewish families at 4.5 individuals. Since Orthodox families traditionally are larger than those of other segments of Judaism, probably as many as 1,000,000 Americans now constitute the Orthodox segment.

Professor Liebman finds that the entire Orthodox community has become more rigid in its observance of the strict Orthodox prescriptions. “Mixed dancing” he says, “once practiced among Agudath Israel youth, is a thing of the past in most committed groups. The formalistic requirements of ‘feminine modesty,’ such as covering the hair, are stressed far more than ever before.”

Recommended from JTA