When writing yesterday, I assumed wrongly that any reader will have read already the report on Jewish World Population.
The main facts are that the World Jewish Population rose from 11 millions in 1945 to 13.4 millions in 2010 – a very slow rise. In fact between 1980 and 2000, the Jewish population did not grow at all and it resumed increasing only in the 2000s’ and all the growth is in Israel.
Between 2009 and 2010, the Jewish population grew 0.6% overall – but 1.5% in Israel and at the same time decreased by 0.2% in the diaspora. Of course, as explained in the previous post, the accuracy of the diaspora numbers is not very high. But there is no doubt that the trends is accurate: the diaspora is shrinking and Israel is growing fast. Jews in Israel have on average 3 children while in the diaspora the fertility rate is way below the 2.1 needed for the replacement of a generation. Maybe already two-thirds of Jewish babies are born in Israel.
And things won’t change. The haredi minority in the diaspora is also increasing fast but I doubt it will ever represent a significant part of the Jewish population outside of Israel – this lifestyle is not sustainable in Israel with the partial support of the government, it won’t be outside. But what will accelerate the slow agony of the diaspora is what we are already seeing now: the economic collapse of Western Europe will drive the Jews out of it – and many of them to Israel. I don’t think the USA will collapse and I don’t see any realistic scenario in which US Jews make Aliyah in mass. So they will just slowly assimilate and disappear.
In less than 20 years, the majority of the Jews will be in Israel and by 2050, the vast majority of them. That will be the ultimate victory of Zionism.