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Europe Loses Half Jews Since 1960

Europe has lost more than half its Jewish population since 1960, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

Approximately 1.4 million Jews live in Europe, down from the 2 million in 1991, according to the Pew survey, which came out Monday. In 1960, some 3.2 million Jews lived in Europe.

European Jews now account for about 10 percent of the world Jewish population, while in 1939, the 9.5 million Jews on the continent accounted for 57 percent of the world Jewish population.

The number of Jews has decreased most in Eastern Europe and areas of the former Soviet Union, according to the survey report.

Pew identifies multiple reasons for the postwar population decline, including immigration to Israel, intermarriage and other forms of cultural assimilation.

The worldwide Jewish population of 14 million is still smaller than it was before the Holocaust, when it was over 16 million.

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