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Israel says world Jewish population lower than pre-Holocaust

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    Agence France-Presse

Jerusalem   /   Wed, April 11, 2018   /   10:26 pm
 Israel says world Jewish population lower than pre-Holocaust An Israeli settler walks passed Palestinian shops, closed by Israeli soldiers during the settlers' visit, in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on March 2, 2018, as he makes his way to visit the tomb of Othniel Ben Kenaz. (Agence France -Presse/Hazem Bader)

The number of Jews around the world is lower than before World War II, Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday ahead of the Jewish State's annual Holocaust Remembrance Day.

According to the CBS, there are approximately 14.5 million Jews in the world, compared to 16.6 million in 1939 when World War II began.

The compilation uses census figures from 2016, it said.

Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day, which begins Wednesday evening on the Jewish calendar, commemorates the six million Jewish victims of the Nazis during World War II.

Nearly half of the world's Jews -- 6.44 million -- live in Israel, with the United States home to the second largest population of 5.7 million.

Nearly half a million Jews live in France, 390,000 in Canada and 290,000 in Britain.

There are Jewish communities of over 100,000 in Argentina, Russia, Germany and Australia, according to the Hebrew University's Harman Institute of Contemporary Judaism, the source for the CBS data.

The CBS said their definition of a Jew included "persons who define themselves as Jewish, or persons of Jewish parentage with no current religious or ethnic identity".