Survey: America has more Jews than Israel

By Rosa Doherty, October 1, 2013

More Jews live in the United States than anywhere else in the world, including Israel, according to new research.

The survey indicates there were 6.8 million Jews in the US in 2012, nearly 2.2 per cent of the population, and 6.1 million in Israel.

The Steinhardt Social Research Institute (SSRI) at Brandeis University found that 4.2 million American adults identify as religious Jews, while a further 1 million consider themselves to be Jewish by background and other criteria.

The figures were pulled together from data provided by hundreds of academic, private and government surveys that monitor religious and ethnic trends.

"The study refutes the bleak narrative of Jewish life that has been suggested by earlier surveys,” SSRI director Len Saxe told Haaretz.

"But it poses a challenge for the Jewish community. What's clear is that even though levels of engagement with Jewish life in America may be increasing, there's a gap between the number of Jews and those who participate in Jewish life," he added.

The Pew Forum on Religion is expected to publish its own survey on American Jewry on Tuesday.

Last updated: 9:10am, October 1 2013