- -Methodological Uncertainties Because of the great difficulties in ascertaining human population data in general, and Jewish data in particular, especially in ancient and medieval times, a word of caution is even more necessary here than in most other areas of historical and sociological research. Even the size of the world Jewish population is questionable because the two largest countries of Jewish settlement, the United States and the Soviet Union, were supplying only inadequate estimates, rather than scientifically verifiable facts (see below). The same holds true for many other countries embracing substantial numbers of Jews. In their report to the International Congress of Historical Sciences in 1950 Carlo Cippola and his associates reported on behalf of their Committee that "in the eyes of demographers bent on scientific precision and certainty all demographic research undertaken for any period before the 18th century runs the risk of appearing as a mere fantasy." Nevertheless, the Committee felt impelled to present some results of their investigations, as have many other scholars dealing with population statistics of past ages. They have felt that the rise or fall of populations, and the concomitant facts relating to natality and mortality rates, sex and age distribution, marriages and divorces, and so forth, are too vital for the understanding of all other socioeconomic, political, and even intellectual developments for scholarship to be satisfied with a resigned ignoramus et ignorabimus. Many demographers and historians are, indeed, convinced, to cite the Spanish sociologist Javier Ruiz Almanza's pithy epigram, that "history without demography is an enigma, just as is demography without history." Population censuses were not completely absent in the ancient and medieval worlds. As a matter of fact, an Egyptian record of about 3000 B.C.E., preserved on the so-called Palermo Stone, gives us a fair idea of how the population was counted at that early age. Egyptian censuses were rather frequently conducted during the Middle Kingdom; they went into such details as naming all members of the respective families. In ancient Israel, too, the censuses attributed to Moses and David have a high degree of probability as to fact, if not with respect to the actual results. However, these counts were much too sporadic to serve as reliable guides. Even modern censuses become truly dependable only when they are periodically repeated and employ the same basic methods. If their final results are not absolutely accurate, they at least reveal some fundamental trends in growth or decline and other variations during the intervening periods. Ancient and medieval censuses, even when recorded, were taken too far apart, and used unknown or, at least, variable statistical methods. Hence they furnish almost no guidance for the prevailing trends. The resultant figures, moreover, are frequently available to us only in texts reproduced by successive copyists over many generations, or even centuries. It is a well-known fact that copyists are more likely to err with respect to numbers than in regard to almost any other words, because such changes, as a rule, do not make the meaning of the entire phrase or sentence incomprehensible. It is enough, for example, for a Hebrew copyist to omit a lamed in shalosh to produce the word shesh which immediately doubles the figure. In its abbreviated form a change from a dalet (representing four) to a resh (two hundred), or vice versa, can play havoc with any number intended by the author. Nor does any proofreader or ordinary reader, unless well-informed about the particular situation, notice such changes which, by constant repetition, sometimes assume the appearance of dependability. Even informed students, moreover, often approach the recorded figures with set presuppositions. Until the 18th century Jewish, as well as general, European opinion believed that ancient times were in all aspects more glorious than the Middle Ages or the modern period. They assumed that ancient populations were far larger than those familiar to them from observation or readings of more recent events. Even so critical a thinker as Montesquieu was convinced that the world population of his day did not total more than one-tenth of what it had been in antiquity. The first scholar to question these assumptions was David Hume. Subsequently, the pendulum swung to the other extreme. As in other areas of life, most scholars were convinced of mankind's gradual progress, despite occasional relapses, and believed that the size of human populations, too, as a rule showed an upward curve. In time, however, more careful studies revealed that there were constant ups and downs, with periods of growth followed by those of decline, and the other way around. Another drawback of the recorded censuses and other population records consisted in their underlying purposes. Ancient and medieval governments rarely, if ever, undertook counting population out of general scientific curiosity. They did it principally in order to secure lists of prospective taxpayers, soldiers, or both. Understandably, since they often served as instruments of greater fiscal oppression and more effective military levies, censuses were heartily disliked by the masses of the population. Thus readily grew the widespread superstition that censuses caused divine wrath and retribution. Even King David's census provoked the biblical writer to observe: "And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them, saying: 'Go, number Israel and Judah'" (II Sam. 24:1). In fact, it is related, the king later repented his irreligious act. As a result of this popular resentment many persons undoubtedly succeeded in evading the count, thus greatly reducing its value. A remarkable talmudic anecdote states that when Persian tax collectors arrived in a city to number the Jews subject to the capitation tax, the latter were forewarned by their leaders to go into hiding until the collectors departed. The community at large had a self-interest in reducing the figures thus obtained because it afterwards had to negotiate with the government for some lump-sum payment to cover the total tax due. Bearing all these deficiencies in mind, scholarship must nevertheless make concerted efforts to come to grips with the demographic facts of life in both the past and the present. Wherever possible a number of convergent hypotheses, even if by themselves none too reliable, may offer at least some more or less acceptable approximations. Yet in the summary here presented its often extremely tentative nature must never be lost sight of. -Ancient Israel There are only a few direct pieces of information about the population of ancient Israel. Some of it is quite dubious. The well-known figure of 600,000 adult male Israelites (601,730 men aged 20 or over in addition to 23,000 male levites, including minors, according to Num. 26:51 and 62), who are said to have been counted by Moses after the Exodus from Egypt, has long been discounted by critical scholars. Including the women and minors, this number would have represented a population of about 2,500,000, much too large for the small province of Goshen in northeastern Egypt where the majority of Israelites had lived before their departure. The addition of some non-Israelites of the "mixed multitude" (Ex. 12:37–38) who joined the Exodus was undoubtedly more or less balanced by those Israelites who refused to leave the "fleshpots" of Egypt and remained behind. It is to them and their descendants that some Egyptian papyri of the 12th century B.C.E. refer when they speak of some "Hebrew" (apiru) still living in Egypt at the time. Moreover, a mass of 2,500,000 persons crossing the "Red Sea" and migrating through the desert for 40 years staggers the imagination. Even if we accept the extreme emendation by some scholars which reduces the figure to 6,000 adult males, it would still leave a considerable number of 25,000 or more persons finally entering Canaan, where they may have joined some descendants of the ancient Habiru ("Hebrews") who had never left Palestine for Egypt but had slowly been occupying Canaanite territory from the days of the El-Amarna Letters in the 15th and 14th centuries B.C.E. Much more informative are the figures yielded by the census conducted by Joab at the behest of King David. Here there is a major difficulty in having two apparently contradictory records. The figures given in II Samuel 24:9, namely that "there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men," seem to be controverted by the report in I Chronicles (21:5) that "all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and a hundred thousand men that drew sword; and Judah was four hundred three-score and ten thousand men that drew sword." Whichever figure is taken – and with some difficulty they can be harmonized – it indicates a population of well over 5,000,000, which is possible, if at all, only if Joab counted the population, including the subject peoples, of the entire Davidic empire from parts of Syria to the border of Egypt. In that case, the Israelite population doubtless formed but a minority of those counted. If, in the following generations, Israel rapidly assimilated some of the subject tribes in its midst, the area under its control had shrunk considerably under Solomon and his successors. Another figure of great interest is given in the Assyrian king Sennacherib's boast that at the time of his siege of Jerusalem in 701 B.C.E. he had deported 200,150 men, women, and children from the Judean kingdom, all of which except the capital had been occupied by the Assyrian troops. This number too, has been subjected to much carping by modern critics. One of them, Karl Ungnad, suggested that it be reduced to 2,150 persons – a number which would have rendered the royal boast entirely meaningless. While Sennacherib's grandiloquent inscription may indeed have exaggerated considerably the number of prisoners taken back to Assyria, it must to some extent have approximated reality. Some of the figures here quoted are partially supported by the existence in the country of a large number of "cities." As early as the 15th century B.C.E. the famous Egyptian inscription by Thutmoses III named more than 100 Palestinian cities conquered in an area covering only about one-fourth of what was later to become the land of Israel and Judah, which bears out the development of some 400 "municipalities" under the Israelitic regime indicated by both the ancient Onomastica and modern geographic research. These cities were for the most part very small. Even in Israel's heyday their vast majority embraced only 1,000 inhabitants or less, but from Canaanite times on they had served the purpose of protecting the farming population against raids from hostile outsiders. Most farmers seem indeed to have lived within walled cities while cultivating their soil by "going out" to their fields or vineyards in the morning and returning in the evening. (This is, therefore, the sequence of the well-known biblical phrase.) Incidentally, this situation explains why ancient Palestine did not have any such major cleavage between the urban and rural populations as has characterized the medieval and modern West. Finally, there is also some interesting data concerning the kingdom of Judah during the Babylonian conquests and its aftermath in the years 597–582 B.C.E. One source reports that 3,023 Judeans had been deported in the seventh year of Nebuchadnezzar, 832 Jerusalemites in the 18th year, 745 Judeans in the 23rd year, together "all the persons were four thousand and six hundred" (Jer. 52:28–30). In contrast, II Kings (24:14–16) states that the Babylonians "carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths." Somewhat differently, the figure of 7,000 is mentioned in the same context. These contradictory data have been subjected to a variety of interpretations, but with some effort and ingenuity they can be harmonized. In any case, both sets of figures evidently refer only to a small elite of landowners, priests, and craftsmen whose absence would deprive the subject population of leadership and the supply of arms, but the Babylonians must have simultaneously deported a great mass of captives from the lower classes. Archaeological discoveries have confirmed the fact that after 586 B.C.E. the Judean countryside was quite deserted, although the conquerors may have brought in some replacements in addition to maintaining their own garrisons on the spot. This exchange of populations had long been practiced by the Assyrians in order to stem irredentist movements and, a century and a quarter before the fall of Jerusalem, they had deported a great many Northern Israelites before and after the fall of Samaria in 733–719 B.C.E. In short, on the basis of these and numerous other scattered data, supported by a number of demographic considerations, the present writer ventured to propose the highly tentative Table 1, Ancient Population for the approximate population of ancient Israel and Judah between 1000 and 586 B.C.E.: The decline in the population, here assumed, may well be explained by the general deterioration in the political and economic strength of the two kingdoms in the intervening four centuries. It did not seriously affect, however, the number of "cities" (about 300–400 in the whole country and about 60–70 in Judah alone), the population of which may have been greatly reduced, but which continued to function as more or less autonomous municipalities. These avowedly extremely tentative "guesstimates," made more than 40 years ago, still seen to offer the most acceptable approximations. The enormous amount of additional archaeological and other source material and interpretation which have since been brought forth by biblical scholars has, if anything, helped to support them. Table 1. Ancient Israel: Approximate Population of Ancient Israel and Judah between 1000 and 586 B.C.E. Table 1. Ancient Israel: Approximate Population of Ancient Israel and Judah between 1000 and 586 B.C.E. 1000 733/701 586 Judah 450,000 300,000–350,000 150,000 Israel 1,350,000 800,000–1,000,000 – Total Israelite and Judean population 1,800,000 1,100,000–1,350,000 150,000 Per square mile 40 28–32 24 -Second Commonwealth During the restoration period the recovery of Palestine's Jewish population was very slow. At first the Second Commonwealth embraced only an area of some 1,200 square miles in and around Jerusalem. According to Ezra (2:64–65), "the whole congregation (of returning exiles) together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, besides their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven; and they had two hundred singing men and singing women." Even adding to these figures a number of survivors from the pre-Exilic period, the population of the Commonwealth could not have amounted to much more than 60,000–70,000. In time, this population must have increased considerably so that, writing in the third century B.C.E., Pseudo-Hecataeus could estimate the number of Jerusalem's inhabitants alone at 120,000 (Jos., Apion, 1:197). There also were growing Jewish settlements outside the boundaries of the autonomous Jewish province, particularly in Galilee (still called the Gelil Ha-Goyim; "the district of gentiles"), along the coast, and in Transjordan. Yet at the outbreak of the Hasmonean Revolt in 165 B.C.E. the total Jewish population in the country still was very small. It grew by leaps and bounds, however, after the establishment of the sovereign Judean state by Simeon Maccabee in 140 B.C.E. and particularly after the annexation of large territories conquered by his successors, john hyrcanus and alexander yannai . It now included a considerable number of Idumeans and others forcibly converted to Judaism by these conquerors, whose amalgamation with the older Jewish inhabitants proceeded apace with great speed. In the days of Jesus and the tannaim Galilee was as Jewish as the environs of Jerusalem. This growth was not stemmed by the occupation of the country by the Romans under Pompey in 63 B.C.E. and the conversion of Judea into a sub-province of the Roman Empire. Only some cities, organized along the lines of a Hellenistic polis along the coast and in Transjordan, were now under the control of their "Greek" city councils, with the Jews often constituting but a tolerated minority. During the two centuries of Hasmonean and Herodian rule over Palestine the Jewish people expanded numerically to an unprecedented degree not only in Palestine but also in other lands, in part by active proselytization. Curiously, the Phoenician-Carthaginian Diaspora, long a major factor throughout the Mediterranean world, suddenly vanished at the beginning of the Common Era. It has been suggested that, with their ancient kinship to the Canaanite-Hebrew civilization, these offshoots of enterprising Tyre and Sidon were now submerged within the Jewish Dispersion. Be this as it may, unquestionably, many new communities now sprang up as far west as Italy and Tunisia and possibly even Spain and Morocco. Few reliable figures, however, are available for either the total Jewish population of any Roman province or that of individual communities. Not even Palestine has left behind records from which one could derive dependable statistics. Babylonian Jewry fell almost totally silent from the days of Ezra and Nehemiah to the second century C.E., although the presence there of great masses of Jews is not subject to doubt. Josephus' attempt to justify his behavior during the great Roman-Jewish War of 66–70 by first writing his history of that war in Aramaic is definite proof of the importance of those communities outside the Roman Empire. But numerically there are only such vague assertions as Josephus' statement that "myriads upon myriads" of Jews lived in the Euphrates Valley, while admitting that their "number could not be ascertained" (Ant., 11:133). Egypt, next to Palestine harboring the most culturally creative Jewish community of the time, embraced about a million Jews in the first century C.E., according to a casual remark by the well-informed Philo Judaeus. Other sources show that Jews probably predominated in two of the five quarters of Alexandria, that great emporium of trade and cultural activity, the population of which is variously estimated at 500,000 to 1,000,000. They may, indeed, have formed almost 40% of the population, in which case the Alexandrine community may well have exceeded in size that of Jerusalem in its heyday. There are also glimpses of such lesser Egyptian communities as the elephantine Jewish colony under the Achaemenids and Apollinopolis Magna or Edfu under the Ptolemies and Romans. To be sure, certain data reported by the rabbis seem vastly exaggerated. For instance, the figures given for the attendance at the Passover sacrifices at the Temple of Jerusalem shortly before its destruction (Tosef., Pes. 4:3; Pes. 64b) cannot be taken at their face value. The Temple could not possibly have accommodated at any time a bare fraction of that number even if the Jews offered their sacrifices in frequent relays. A little more informative are the reports of the casualties in deaths and prisoners sustained by Jerusalem during the Roman siege. The figures transmitted by such distinguished historians as Josephus and Tacitus ranging between 600,000 fatalities and 1,197,000 dead and captured (Jos., Wars, 6:420; Tacitus, Historiae, 5:13) are not quite so out of line as they appear at first glance. Jerusalem's population before the siege had been swelled by countless numbers of pilgrims from all over the Dispersion and refugees from the provinces previously occupied by the Roman legions. A new factor was injected into the discussion by the report of Gregory bar Hebraeus, a 12th-century Syrian chronicler of Jewish descent, about a census of the Jewish population taken by Emperor Claudius in 48 C.E. (Historia compendiosa dynastiarum, ed. by E. Pococke, 75, 116; ed. by A. Salhani, 115). According to this report, first brought to the attention of students of ancient Jewish history by Jean Juster, Claudius found no less than 6,944,000 Jews within the confines of the empire. To be sure, some scholars denied the authenticity of this report, or attributed the census to one of Roman citizens, rather than of Jews. However, the weight of evidence still favors the acceptance of that figure as the most likely approximation of the number of Jews living within the empire. To them must be added the numerous Jews of Babylonia, the Iranian Plateau, the Yemen, and Ethiopia. It stands to reason, therefore, that shortly before the fall of Jerusalem the world Jewish population exceeded 8,000,000, of whom probably not more than 2,350,000–2,500,000 lived in Palestine. Other major countries of Jewish settlement included Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, and Babylonia, each probably embracing more than 1,000,000 Jews. Even Rome, the capital of the empire, seems to have included a Jewish community of about 40,000 in a total population of some 800,000, if we accept the figure of 8,000 Roman Jews accompanying a Palestinian delegation in the year 4 B.C.E., and 4,000 Jewish youths reputedly deported by Tiberius to the salt mines of Sardinia, as reported by Josephus (Ant., 17:300; 18:84) and Tacitus (Annales, 2, 85). This numerical strength of the Jewish population was important not only for the subsequent destinies of the Jewish people but also for the rise and expansion of Christianity. No less an authority than Adolf Harnack developed the theory that only where Jewish communities existed in the first century were there substantial Christian congregations before Constantine the Great in the early fourth century. Unfortunately, after the fall of Jerusalem the demographic sources relating to Jews almost completely dried up. Unquestionably, the total number of Jews rapidly declined. As a result of the war ravages in 66–70, during the uprisings against Trajan in 115–117 and the bar kokhba War in 132–35 the population of Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, and other areas diminished sharply. Jerusalem for a while ceased to be a Jewish city altogether. After Trajan, Egyptian Jewry, though not completely suppressed, became almost totally silent for nearly a century; it never recovered from that mortal blow until centuries after the Muslim conquest. The conversion of some Jews to the new Christian religion was further aggravated by the more or less continuous Roman oppression culminating in the anti-Jewish legislation of the Christian Roman emperors from the fourth to the sixth centuries. Nor could the Jews entirely escape the impact of the biological decline of the empire as a whole from the third century on. Ultimately, in 632 Emperor Heraclius outlawed Judaism altogether. At the same time, through both immigration and natural growth, the Jewish population in Babylonia and elsewhere throughout the resurgent Persian Empire under the Sassanid dynasty (after 226) grew rapidly and, by the fourth century, may have equaled in size that of Rome and Byzantium. But no estimates of any kind, nor even informed guesses, can be made for the actual numbers of Jews inhabiting either empire. Characteristically, however, the Jewish dispersion continued to expand in all directions. During those centuries some Jews seem to have penetrated India, as well as parts of Africa outside of Rome's control, while, if tradition is to be believed, some individuals even reached China. In the West there is some documentary and epigraphic evidence about Jewish settlements in Gaul, Germany, Hungary (Pannonia), Romania (Dacia), and perhaps even Britain. But these outlying Jewries were, for the most part, very small, and influenced the size of the world Jewish population to but a minor extent. -Medieval Islam and Byzantium Curiously, for the long medieval period (from 313 or 476 C.E. to 1492) there is no global figure for the Jewish population of any year even comparable to the reconstruction, however uncertain, of the Claudian census in the mid-first century. There are only stray records pertaining to individual communities in different areas and periods which rarely lend themselves to any overall "guesstimates." The following medieval data are, therefore, even more tentative than those for the Ancient period. Palestine Jewry, though greatly decimated by the wars and Roman persecutions, seems nevertheless to have recovered sufficiently to be able to stage several revolts against their oppressive masters. According to one Christian chronicler even 4,000 Jews living in neighboring Tyre were able to start a revolt in 610, with the aid of 20,000 Jewish soldiers assembled from Palestine, Damascus, and Cyprus (Eutychius ibn Baṣrīq, Annales, in J.P. Migne's Patrologia graeca, 111:1084f.; and in Arabic text, ed. by L. Cheikho et al., 1:216). Another large-scale uprising, supported by an invading Persian army, was so successful that for three years the Jews seem to have exercised control over large parts of the country including Jerusalem and Tiberias (614–617). The repression in 629–632, however, was sharp and swift. Yet the total outlawry of Judaism in 632 hardly began to be implemented when five years later the Arab armies overran the country. Jerusalem, which since the days of Bar Kokhba's defeat had only a sporadic and largely surreptitious Jewish settlement, was gradually reopened to Jewish residents under the Muslim domination. At first, Caliph Omar I admitted only 70 Jewish families. But this number increased considerably in the following generations owing to both Rabbanite and Karaite immigration. Similarly Caesarea, which in the Byzantine period had served as the administrative capital of the province, continued to harbor a substantial Jewish population, although the figures given by Balādhurī (200,000 Jews, 30,000 Samaritans, 700,000 Byzantine soldiers) and Yāqūt (100,000 Jews, 80,000 Samaritans, 100,000 soldiers) are fantastically exaggerated. This evolution was cut short by the bloodbath perpetrated by the conquering Crusaders in 1099 from which the Jewish community but slowly recovered. Some 70 years later the traveler Benjamin of Tudela found in Jerusalem a small community of perhaps 1,000 persons (the extant manuscripts differ between 4 and 200 families), while in 1218 Judah Al-Ḥarizi noted the presence there of three Jewish congregations. A similar divergence may be observed between Benjamin's estimate of 3,000 Jews in Damascus and the 10,000 Jews quoted, a decade later, by another visitor, Pethahiah of Regensburg. The other great center of Jewish life, Babylonia, seems more successfully to have conserved its biological strength. Despite the numerous sufferings inflicted upon the Jews by the Mazdakite movement during the chaotic fifth century, the figure of 90,000 Jews welcoming the arrival of the Arab general Ali (Iggeret Sherira Ga'on, ed. by B.M. Lewin (1921), 101) is not out of the range of historical probability. Under the Muslim administration the Jews of Babylonia and the neighboring Iranian Plateau continued to expand. The city of Sura, for example, the seat of a famous rabbinic academy, was found by a tenth-century Muslim investigating committee to have a large Jewish majority (Ibn abī Uṣaybiʿa, Ṭabaqāt al-aṭibbāʾ, ed. by A. Mueller, 1:221). The original Aramaic name of Mosul, Ḥesna Ebraya ("Hebrew Castle": the Jews themselves called it Ashshur) was undoubtedly deserved before the city grew into a major administrative and economic center. These old communities were speedily overshadowed by Baghdad after 762 when it became the capital of the vast Caliphate. In spite of the empire's dissolution and the chaotic conditions which prevailed there in the tenth century, Benjamin still found in the Baghdad of the 1160s a flourishing Jewish community of perhaps 40,000 persons. According to the Arab writer, Ibn al-Naqqāsh, the Mongolian invaders of Baghdad in 1258 counted there no less than 36,000 Jewish taxpayers – doubtless an exaggeration. In any case Jews constituted but a small segment of a population which at times may have ranged from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 in size. Egyptian Jewry, too, seems to have gradually recovered from its sharp decline of the second century. Although the glorious community of Alexandria had never recovered its former size and intellectual eminence and, in 414, had suffered from a serious, if unauthorized, expulsion, the conquering Arabs exaggeratingly claimed to have found there in 640 no less than "400,000 poll-tax paying Jews" (Eutychius, Annales, in: PG 111: 1107; in the Arabic text, ed. by Cheikho, 2:26). Here, too, the recovery proceeded apace under the Muslim rule, particularly the friendly Fatimid and Seljuk regimes of the 11th and 12th centuries. In the newly developed capital of Fostat (Old Cairo) Benjamin found 7,000, and in Alexandria, 3,000 Jewish families. He also saw or heard of numerous other Jewish communities throughout the land. Taking these figures as representing persons, rather than families, some careful historians calculated that all of Egypt had a Jewish population of no more than 20,000–40,000, which is probably too conservative a ratio in the country's general population of perhaps 7,000,000–8,000,000. While Benjamin's estimates do not quite tally with the evidence of local sources, particularly those preserved in the cairo genizah , they all give the impression of populous and often flourishing Jewish settlements. To the west of Egypt there were growing Jewish communities in Kairouan (Tunisia), Morocco, and particularly Muslim Spain. However, no precise data are available on the demographic situation in most of these communities. Only here and there are there some figures, as a rule none too reliable, in the writings of Arab chroniclers and geographers or in rabbinic sources. The famous Moroccan community of Fez, for example, is said to have sustained 6,000 Jewish fatalities during the massacre of 1032–33. In Spain, al-Idrīsī calls the frontier town of Tarragona a "city of Jews" (Description de l'Afrique, ed. and trans. by R. Dozy and M.J. de Goeje, 191 (Ar.) and 231 (Fr.). In addressing the Jewish leaders of Lucena the ninth-century Babylonian Gaon, Natronai b. Hilai, casually mentions that "there are no gentiles living among you at all" (Responsum, reproduced in B.M. Lewin's Oẓar ha-Ge'onim, vol. 3, 1, 24f. no. 64). Even the celebrated city of Granada is, doubtless for good reason, called by al-Ḥimyarī Ighranāṭat-al-Yahūd ("Jewish Granada"; in La Peninsule Ibérique, ed. by E. Lévi-Provençal, 23, 42f. (Ar.), 29ff., 53ff. (Fr.). Córdoba, the metropolis of Muslim Spain, also included a very sizable Jewish community. Although these stray data do not allow for any comprehensive estimate of the Jewish population of the whole country, it appears that here, too, Ely Ashtor's estimate of but 50,000–55,000 Jews in the whole Iberian Peninsula around 1050 (in a general population of some 7,000,000–9,000,000) is the result of excessive caution. Even under the intolerant Almohad domination of the 12th century many, perhaps most, Jews continued secretly to profess Judaism. They "rolled with the waves" until the 13th-century reconquest by the Christian Spaniards, when they could once again overtly profess Judaism and resume their demographic as well as socioeconomic and cultural expansion. Similar uncertainties beset the demographic historian trying to ascertain the size of the Jewish population in the Byzantine Empire. It is a remarkable testimony to the enormous vitality of the Jewish people that, despite four successive total outlawries of Judaism in 632, 722–3, 873–4, and 930, it survived and resumed its historic evolution, without noticeable breaks in its continuity. At any rate, when around 1160 Benjamin of Tudela visited Constantinople, he found there no less than 2,000 Rabbanite and 500 Karaite families. For that time this was an impressive estimate of 12,000–15,000 Jews, although they evidently constituted but a small minority of the capital's population which, ranging between 50,000 and 100,000 persons, by far exceeded that of any Christian city of the period. Some ten to fifteen years later, Pethahiah of Regensburg, on arriving in Byzantium, was so overawed by the number and size of its Jewish communities, which sharply contrasted with the underpopulated cities and Jewish settlements of his German homeland, that he exclaimed: "There are there (in the Byzantine Empire) so many congregations that the land of Israel could not contain them, were they to be settled therein." Nonetheless, there is no way of closely estimating the total Jewish population of the empire, both before or after the Arab expansion of the 630s. Here, too, much of the demographic information depends on data supplied by Benjamin of Tudela. Regrettably, different manuscript of his travelogue quote figures with considerable variants. The question whether he had in mind persons, taxpayers, or families still is largely unresolved. It is quite possible that some of his figures represented different entities and that he merely reported numbers as they were given to him by local informants in the towns he happened to visit. Though displaying unusual interest in Jewish demography and probably quite accurately transmitting the information he received, he was, needless to say, unable to check it. With all these weaknesses, Benjamin is relatively the most reliable guide. It has been shown that the sum total of his figures was 512,532. Since he did not visit all communities and did not record figures even in many of those he had seen, these numbers must at least be doubled. In short, at the end of the 12th century the world Jewish population may well have embraced 1,000,000, perhaps even close to 2,000,000 persons, the large majority of whom still resided in countries under the domination of Islam. This situation began changing rapidly in the 13th century, when the center of gravity of the Jewish people shifted to the Western lands. With the rest of the population, the Eastern Jewries declined sharply, to be revitalized only under the Ottoman Empire of the late 15th and the 16th centuries. -Medieval West Despite the availability of much more ample and better-investigated source materials, population studies of medieval Western Jewry are likewise affected by great uncertainties. Apart from the general decline of population during the Barbarian invasions, many Jewish settlements were totally destroyed during the wave of intolerance which, in the seventh century, swept through Visigothic Spain, Merovingian France, and Langobard Italy. Thereafter the total number of Jews in Western Europe, including Germany, must have been very small indeed. The only continuous major settlements carried over from Antiquity were in the Papal States, southern Italy, parts of Spain, and southern France. However, here, too, the general population decline is well illustrated by the city of Rome which, from a metropolis embracing some 1,000,000 inhabitants at the end of the second century, was reduced to but 35,000 eight centuries later. Nonetheless, in the 1160s Benjamin could find substantial Jewish communities in Rome, Naples, Messina, and particularly in Palermo, whose 1,500 Jewish families undoubtedly formed the largest Jewish community under Roman Catholic Christianity. Rome itself may also have embraced at that time about 1,000 Jews. Relatively, the best information deals with the conditions in medieval England. Owing to the comparatively small number of Jews, the availability of large and well-preserved source material, and untiring research by scholars, Christian and Jewish, over several decades, the evolution of the medieval Anglo-Jewish community has been fairly well elucidated. Its demographic aspects, however, have left many questions open. It appears that, beginning with the Norman Conquest of 1066, the number of Jewish settlers gradually reached about 2,500 persons before the massacres of 1190–91 and the ensuing flight of numerous Jews to the Continent. Within a few years English Jewry recovered its strength, however, and resumed its growth in the first half of the 13th century. Yet the endless fiscal exactions of Henry III and the general hostility of the population, which found expression in a number of cities securing privileges de non tolerandis Judaeis, before long began taking their toll. Even at the expulsion of 1290 there were probably no more than about 10,000 Jews in a total population of about 3,500,000 in the country. This is avowedly a compromise figure between the decided underestimate by George Caro of no more than 3,000 Jewish residents and the records of contemporary chroniclers, whose reports about the Jews effected by the decree of expulsion of 1290 ranged from 15,000 to 17,500. Even that relatively small number was scattered over 91 cities, of which 21 (at their heyday, 27) were sufficiently important to contain royal archae where records of all Jewish loans were officially kept. In addition, there were more than 100 other localities in which individual Jews were mentioned in the sources. A few individuals seem also to have penetrated Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, though no organized community existed in any of these areas in the Middle Ages. On the Continent Jewish demography depends for the most part on sporadically preserved tax records. In the case of capitation taxes it is relatively easy to multiply the number of taxpayers by whatever quotient is derived from our knowledge, otherwise obtained, of their ratio to minors, indigents, and other non-paying groups. Of course, here, too, it was in the best interest of the Jewish communities to underestimate the number of taxpayers whereas the government authorities sought to exaggerate them. In addition, there were sporadic censuses of population, including Jews, such as was instituted in Aix-en-Provence in 1341 on orders of King Robert of Anjou. It revealed that, at that time, 1,205 Jews occupied 203 houses and constituted some 10% of the city's population. A Jewish taxpaying "hearth" averaged 5.9 members, while individual households included a membership of up to 30 persons. In contrast, a similar census in Carpentras in 1471 revealed a Jewish average of only 4.3 per "hearth," as against 5.2 persons per Christian "hearth." The latter discrepancy is explainable only by the intervening trials and tribulations of Carpentras Jewry which was always treated more harshly by both the populace and the city council than that of its larger neighbor, Avignon. Here no less than 210 Jewish heads of households were called upon in 1358 to take an oath of allegiance to the pope, which indicates the presence of a Jewish community of well over 1,000 persons. In general, the Jewish population of Provence and the papal possessions in France exceeded the general ratio of Jews in the rest of France and for that matter anywhere in Europe north of the Alps and Pyrenees. Already in the days of Benjamin the community of Arles, with its 200 families, seems to have formed some 20% of the city's population. The smaller town of Tarascon embraced 125 Jewish families in 1442, 183 families in 1487. On the other hand, Narbonne, once the leading southern French community and, in Carolingian times, the seat of a "Jewish king," steadily declined and, shortly before the 1306 expulsion, numbered no more than 1,000 Jews among the city's 15,000 inhabitants. Similarly, Toulouse in 1391 had only 15 Jewish families in a population of 25,000–30,000. All of Gascony under English domination apparently never exceeded that total of 1,000 Jews before their banishment in 1288. More remarkably, the "great city" of Paris (Benjamin), where, before the expulsion of 1182, some chroniclers spoke exaggeratingly of Jews forming half the city's population and owning half its real estate, in fact embraced at no time before the final expulsion of 1394many more than the 124 taxpayers (in 86 households) among the 15,200 taxpayers recorded in 1292 in a total population of 80,000 or more counted in 1328. No house-to-house canvasses are recorded in the Holy Roman Empire. There we depend principally on tax records which, however, are almost invariably incomplete. Even the very significant list of taxpaying Jewish communities in 1241 omits such large Jewish settlements as that of Nuremberg. On the other hand, Germany has preserved a number of examples of the memorbuch which, by recording victims of persecutions by name, are the most dependable, if partial, sources of demographic information. In Nuremberg, for example, 628 such fatalities are recorded as a result of the rindfleisch massacres of 1298; despite the community's subsequent recovery, 570 more Jews lost their lives in the massacre of 1349. Wuerzburg sustained in 1298 no less than 900 casualties, of whom 100 are specifically mentioned as nonresidents. Even smaller communities like Weissensee or Ueberlingen could lose 125 and over 300 Jews respectively, in massacres resulting from local blood libels in 1303 and 1332. However, such incidental records give us but a remote approximation of the total Jewish population in the respective periods. The only conclusion one may draw from these stray references is that, especially after 1350, most German Jewish communities were very small. In Jewish, as in general West and Central European life, the 14th century was a period of great crisis, both economically and biologically. The recurrent famines (1315–17, etc.) and pestilences – the greatest of the epidemics, the black death of 1348–49, was but one of a series of destructive diseases – resulted in a long-lasting decline in population. During many decades an annual birthrate of 39 per 1,000 population was exceeded by a mortality rate of 41 per 1,000. Hence life expectancy of newly born children in many areas sank as low as 17–20 years. Jews not only fell victim to these widely spreading contaminations, but were often massacred in advance of the plague by their panic-stricken Christian neighbors, as alleged "poisoners of the wells" responsible for the contagion. Not surprisingly, their numbers declined frightfully even in a city like Vienna, which was restrained by its rulers from attacking Jews, despite its daily losses of 500 (occasionally up to 1,200) dead to the plague. Its Jewry, considered by some informed contemporaries the largest Jewish community in the empire, 70 years later had only 92 male and 122 female martyrs during the persecution (the so-called Gezerah) of 1421. The celebrated Jewish community of Augsburg listed only 17 and 21 Jewish taxpayers in 1401 and 1437, and in the following year banished the whole community of 300 persons. Erfurt, which a short time before possessed four or five synagogues and four slaughterhouses for the supply of ritually permissible meat, dwindled to a total of only 50–86 taxpayers in 1357–89. Similarly Frankfurt, which was destined to play so great a role in German Jewish history in the following centuries, embraced only a few Jewish families in the 1360s, and as late as 1462, when its new ghetto was formally established, it counted no more than about 200 inhabitants. If during that period many German Jews found shelter in the neighboring lands of Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary (each destined to occupy an imposing place in the modern history of the Jewish people), before 1500 C.E. their total numbers, even when augmented by the earlier settlers in part stemming from territories further east, still were quite small before the end of the Middle Ages. The largest agglomerations of Jews under medieval Christendom were to be found on the Iberian and Apennine peninsulas together with the adjacent Balearic Islands and Sicily. Spain, the largest and most influential focus of medieval Judaism, has preserved a great many demographically relevant records, some of which are yet to be explored. However, their evaluation by modern scholars has diverged very greatly. While the first careful investigator of the subject, Isidore Loeb, estimated the Jewish population of Castile at 160,000 around 1300 C.E., Yitzḥak Baer, the outstanding student of Spanish Jewish history, attributes to that kingdom only some 3,600 Jewish families at that time. Together with Navarre and Aragon, he believes, the combined Jewish population did not exceed 40,000. Once again the truth seems to be somewhere in between, and a total of 150,000 would seem to offer a much closer approximation. Remarkably, neither the Jewish nor the general population suffered permanently irretrievable losses as a result of the Black Death of 1348–49, or the subsequent major plagues of 1394–96 and 1490. Despite various setbacks, especially after 1391, the Iberian Jewish population continued to grow, particularly in Castile, and there is somewhat more agreement about the number of Jews affected by the expulsion of 1492. The best approximation was given by Meir Melammed, son-in-law of "Chief Rabbi" Abraham Senior, and another Jew (both of whom preferred conversion to exile) who estimated the number of Jewish families affected by the decree of expulsion at 35,000 in Castile and 6,000 in Aragon (Andrés Bernaldez, Historia de los Reyes Catolicos, cxff.). Not very much higher is the figure of 300,000 Jewish inhabitants of Spain, cited by Isaac Abrabanel, the leader of the departing exiles (Ma'yenei ha-yeshu'ah, introd.). If it be true that some 120,000 of these expatriates proceeded to neighboring Portugal (Abraham Zacuto, Sefer Yuḥasin, 277a), the total Jewish population of the smaller country may have reached 200,000 to be affected by the forced conversion of 1496–97. These large figures lent themselves to easy exaggeration and even such a well-informed and careful 16th-century historian and political theorist as Juan Mariana glibly speaks of 800,000 Spanish Jews affected by the expulsion (Historia general de España, ed. by J.M. Gutiérrez, vol. 5, 440). In the Iberian case, moreover, there is a major problem of estimating the number of Conversos (including numerous secret Judaizers) who lived under the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella and whose number was greatly increased by those Jews who in 1492 preferred baptism to exile. These Conversos were to furnish a considerable number of members to the growing Marrano dispersion in the West, while others found ways of speedily returning to Judaism by settling in Muslim lands. Somewhat less controversial is the size of the large Jewish population of Sicily and the kingdom of Naples. Sicily alone doubtless had a Jewish population of more than 50,000 in the 15th century, many of whom departed in 1492 for Naples, Rome, and other localities. Combined with refugees from Spain, the Sicilian exiles may well have temporarily doubled the Jewish population of the kingdom of Naples before the expulsion of Jews in 1511 and 1541. At the same time, the resettlement of Jewish communities in Italy north of the Papal States was proceeding rather slowly and the glorious Renaissance republics of Florence, Ferrara, Venice, and others became really important areas of Jewish settlement only in the early modern period. In short, after considering these and many other complicated factors and in full realization of the perilous nature of any computation, S. Baron has submitted Table 2, Jewish Population in European Countries before 1500 C.E. covering the Jewish population in Western and Central Europe during the last centuries of the Middle Ages. -1500–1800 The three centuries of the early modern period were at first marked by a simultaneous expansion and contraction of Jewish settlement, which of course had an important bearing on Jewish demography as well. On the one hand, the wave of expulsions from England, France, the Iberian Peninsula, and many Italian and German territories of the period from 1290 to 1500 now continued unabated. Jews were ousted permanently from the kingdom of Naples in 1511 and 1541; from the duchy of Milan in 1597; and from the Papal States (except Rome and Ancona) on a more temporary basis, in 1569 and 1593. The banishment of the Jews from Regensburg in 1519 and Rothenburg in 1520 was followed during the early Reformation period by expulsion from Saxony in 1536, Brandenburg (after their readmission in 1540) in 1571, and many other German principalities, bishoprics, and free cities. The result was a greater diffusion of Jews into smaller localities, even villages, in both Italy and Germany – a trend which was reversed only during the Thirty Years' War. At the same time there was not only a great expansion of the Jewish people into Poland-Lithuania, the Ottoman Empire, and other Muslim countries, but through the Marrano dispersion there was the incipient resettlement of Jews, first secret and later overt, in Western Europe. There was also the beginning of Jewish participation in the colonization of the New World, as well as of the Far East and some African territories by the great colonial powers. If, on balance, the Jewish settlement in the middle of the 17th century extended over a much larger area than that of 1500 C.E., the growth of Jewish population did not keep pace with that geographic expansion. Certainly those New Christians, who by 1660 had formally returned to Judaism, were but a small fraction of the descendants of the original Conversos on the Iberian Peninsula. The small size of the Jewish or Marrano settlements did not prevent, however, unfriendly observers from magnifying the Jewish presence beyond measure. Even a great scholar like Erasmus of Rotterdam, who had had hardly any contacts with living Jews, could exclaim with abandon: "Jews are very numerous in Italy; in Spain there are hardly any Christians. I am afraid that when the occasion arises that pest, formerly suppressed, will raise its head again" (Opus epistolarum, 3:253; 4:114). More recklessly, temperamental Martin Luther once contended that Italy was so full of Jews that, for instance, Cremona had no more than 28 Christians among its inhabitants (Tischreden, 3:369f.; 4:619f.). These comments were made at a time when Italy's most populous areas of Naples and Sicily no longer had any professing Jews. After 1569, moreover, the Papal States, too, but grudgingly admitted Jews outside Rome and Ancona but never in sufficient numbers to justify the maintenance of some 115 synagogues such as had existed before the 1569 expulsion. Similarly, the Jews readmitted to Brandenburg in 1540 formed but tiny communities Table 2. The Jewish Population in European Countries before 1500 C.E. Table 2. The Jewish Population in European Countries before 1500 C.E. Country 2"> 1300 C.E. 2"> 1490 C.E. Jews General population Jews General population France (including Avignon) 100,000 14,000,000 20,000 20,000,000 Holy Roman Empire (including Switzerland and the Low Countries) 100,000 12,000,000 80,000 12,000,000 Itly 50,000 11,000,000 120,000 12,000,000 Spain (Castile, Aragon, and Navarre) 150,000 5,500,000 250,000 7,000,000 Portugal 40,000 600,000 80,000 1,000,000 Poland–Lithuania 5,000 500,000 30,000 1,000,000 Hungary 5,000 400,000 20,000 800,000 Total 450,000 44,000,000 600,000 53,800,000 of eight to ten families in Berlin, Stendal, and Frankfurt on the Oder when they were once again banished 31 years later. It was only in the 17th and particularly the 18th century that the German-speaking Jewry of the Holy Roman Empire, aided by immigration from Eastern Europe and later by the inclusion in Prussia and Austria of formerly Polish territories through the partitions of Poland in 1772–95, started rising significantly throughout the country. At the same time, the "Golden Age" of both Polish Jewry and Poland as a whole in the 16th and early 17th centuries was largely terminated in the era of the Chmielnicki uprising (1648–49) and the Swedish-Muscovite wars of 1648–56. Not only did Polish Jewry sustain very severe losses in human lives but, combined with the general economic decline of the country, these disturbances set in motion a Jewish mass emigration which kept the growth of the population at a relatively low rate. Nevertheless the Jewish numerical strength continued gaining and the area of what was Poland-Lithuania in 1648 may well have embraced a Jewish population twice as large in 1800. The majority was now included in the Russian Empire which, after many centuries of refusing to admit Jews – as late as 1740 the whole Jewish population of 292 menand 281 women, scattered through 130 manorial estates in the Ukraine and Belorussia, was expelled – thus suddenly became the largest country of Jewish settlement. Unfortunately, dependable demographic data on Jews are available only in very few areas. Italy, to be sure, often conducted population censuses, and information concerning Jews in various Italian communities of the early modern period is quite illuminating. The emergent Jewish communities in France, England, and particularly Holland can also be estimated with close approximation to the truth. On the other hand, the Holy Roman Empire, until its dissolution in 1806, offers only sporadic insights into the number of its Jewish inhabitants. In Poland-Lithuania the Jewish population in certain cities can be estimated with a fair degree of accuracy, while vast areas in the country are subject to more or less questionable estimates based on the yield of the capitation tax which in 1560 amounted to only 6,186 florins (on an assessment of 1.50 florins per family), but rose to 80,000 florins in 1634 and to 220,000 florins in 1714 (both representing collections of 3 florins per person). There were also a number of regional censuses (so-called lustracje), but only those of 1764–65 shortly before the partitions of Poland have left behind more comprehensive and reliable records; they have also been subjected to closer scrutiny by modern scholars. In contrast, the enormously important Jewish settlement of the Ottoman Empire, with its western Asiatic and North African provinces, offers an almost hopeless problem to the demographic historian. It stands to reason that, since the empire had seen its glory progressively dimmed from 1600 on and its Jewish subjects suffered serious setbacks several decades later in the era of the Shabbatean movement, the forward motion of both the Jewish and the general populations also greatly slowed down. Yet it appears that, as in Poland, such retardation did not completely halt the numerical expansion of the Jewish masses. However, this assumption cannot be supported by precise statistical data despite the fact that the Ottoman archives have preserved many records of detailed censuses, some of which go back to the 15th century. These records are in many ways far superior to what is preserved in most Western countries of that period. Yet even with the aid of so-called defters, or brief summaries kept in the archival registries, these sources have thus far been scrutinized only to a very slight extent. The few Jewish studies heretofore published relate almost exclusively to Palestine's population under the early Ottoman regime. They have opened up new vistas and whetted the appetite for more information but they have supplied only disjointed fragments which do not add up to a total picture. Equally unsatisfactory is knowledge of Jewish demography in the North-African countries. Only here and there do the sources, often derived from casual observation by foreign visitors, mention figures pertaining to the size of Jewish communities. Yet with some effort and ingenuity Maurice Eisenbeth succeeded in compiling, on the basis of such reports, approximate statistics of Jewish inhabitants in the city of Algiers. His estimates for the 16th century range from 1,000 to 5,000 Jews. About 1600 their number rises to 8,000 or 9,000 persons, while about 1700 it reaches a peak of 10,000–12,000. In the course of the 18th century the Jewish population declines to some 7,000 and is further reduced to but 5,000 by 1818 (M. Eisenbeth, Les Juifs en Algerie et en Tunisie à l'epoque turque (1576–1830), 147ff.). In the following we can refer, therefore, only to a number of illustrations of Jewish communities which have undergone extraordinary expansion, while others have lagged behind. In Italy the papal capital under the Renaissance popes allowed its Jewry to grow, so that it may have reached the number of 2,500–3,000 Jews before the expulsion from the rest of the Papal States in 1569. Although locked in a formal ghetto since 1555, the Rome community continued to grow because after 1569 it had to absorb a great many refugees from the provinces. It is estimated that in 1592 it embraced 3,500 persons in a total population of 97,000. A century later the Jewish population is said to have reached a peak of 10,000–12,000 persons which was never exceeded thereafter even in the 20th century. In the 18th century the Jewish population dropped back to a median of 3,076 persons, according to the official records of 1775–1800. Venice, after the expulsion of Jews in the Middle Ages, did not tolerate them at all until 1509 and in 1516 shut them off in a ghetto, the first to bear that name. But subsequently it allowed the Jewish community to grow rather speedily so that by the middle of the 17th century it may have reached a total of 5,000 persons. Even more remarkably, Leghorn, which had few Jews before 1593, embraced 114 in 1601, 711 in 1622, and 1,175 in 1642. It continued to grow in the following decades; the official censuses refer to a Jewish population of 3,476 in 1738, 4,327 in 1784, and 4,697 in 1806. Leghorn thus competed with Rome and Venice for the designation of the largest Jewish community in Italy. Even a medium-sized community, such as that of Verona, grew to 400 persons in 1600 and over 1,000 in 1751. In contrast, many cities, including Genoa, never admitted more than a handful of Jews. The constant ups and downs in the size of respective communities are well illustrated by the following estimates for the three neighboring Jewish centers in the duchy of Urbino. In 1628 Pesaro had 610 Jewish inhabitants, Urbino 370, Senigallia 200. By 1700 the respective figures were about 600, 200, 600, Senigallia assuming the cultural, as well as numerical, leadership. Historically, the relatively small Jewish communities of Piedmont (its capital Turin first reached a Jewish population of 500 in 1563) were to play an important role in the 19th century when their country marched in the vanguard of Italian unification. All of Italy embraced some 25,000 Jews in 1638, according to the well-informed apologist Simone Luzzatto (Discorso circa il stato degl' hebrei, 91). At this level Italian Jewry remained more or less stabilized during the following two centuries while the general Italian population grew from about 11,000,000 in the 17th century to 18,125,000 in 1800, and 23,000,000 in 1850. In Germany, too, some startling increases contrasted with declines or, at best, demographic stagnation. In Frankfurt, which had only 110 Jews at the time when the community moved into its assigned quarter in 1462, the number grew to 250 in 1520, 900 in 1569, 2,200 in 1600. By 1613 the assailants of Jews led by Vincent Fettmilch complained that the 454 Jewish families in the city engaged in too sharp a competition with the Christian artisans and traders. The concentration of about 3,000 Jews within the original quarter throughout the 17th and 18th centuries caused that tremendous overcrowding which made the Frankfurt ghetto a byword in Jewish literature. Hamburg admitted a few New Christians in the 16th century but did not legally recognize the presence of a Jewish community until 1612. Its Jewry, both Sephardi and Ashkenazi, grew rapidly (together with the sister communities of Altona and Wandsbeck which jointly formed the single tri-community of Altona-Hamburg-Wandsbeck, abbreviated into AHU according to its Hebrew initials) during the following two centuries, reaching in 1810 the number of 6,299 Jews, according to the official census. It thus was second only to the community of Prague among the Jewish settlements in the empire. The Bohemian capital, a much older community, which had maintained its historic continuity despite several decrees of expulsion in the 16th century and again in 1744 (often not seriously implemented), was throughout the early modern period a major center of Central European Jewish life and learning. By 1729 it embraced, according to an official census, 10,507 persons. At the same time a great many German Jews of the 16th and early 17th centuries lived scattered through countless hamlets and villages. An investigation conducted in 1541 in the Memmingen district revealed the presence of but 40 Jewish families living in 11 localities. Throughout Germany there were such small Jewish settlements with but one to ten families trying to eke out a meager livelihood and yet instilling in their children a pride in, and knowledge of their Jewish heritage. This great dispersal was largely the result of the preceding wave of expulsions of Jews from the major cities, including their famous medieval settlements of Mainz, Speyer, Cologne, and Regensburg, and their finding shelter, however precariously, under the domination of the petty lords. This trend was reversed, however, during the Thirty Years' War (1618–48) when Jews fleeing before the marching armies and pillaging marauders often had to be admitted to the larger cities, which in turn found that they often benefited greatly from Jewish trade and taxation. Thus was ushered in the era of progressive urbanization of German Jewry, which was to make tremendous strides in the 19th and early 20th centuries. An example of such growing concentration in German metropolitan areas is offered by Prussia of the days of Frederick the Great. While no reliable data for Jews in that rapidly expanding state are available, a well-informed student, Friedrich Wilhelm August Bratring, estimated that in 1750 Berlin had 2,188 Jews (in a population of 133,520), while the rest of the Kurmark accommodated only 1,685 of their coreligionists. Twenty years later the Berlin Jewish community embraced 3,842 persons (an increase of nearly 80%), whereas the provincial communities together totaled only 1,996 persons (an increase of but 20%). In the subsequent three decades, to be sure, Berlin's Jewish inhabitants numerically declined in contrast to both the city's general population and the provincial Jewries, but this was a mere temporary interruption in the process of rapid growth which brought the size of Berlin Jewry up to 172,672 in 1925. The Netherlands, emerging from the War of Liberation as a forward-looking and relatively liberal state, embraced but a few New Christians in the late 16th century. But, beginning in 1593, the country witnessed a tremendous expansion in the number and size of Jewish settlements which, two centuries later, embraced a population of well over 50,000. Amsterdam alone accommodated in 1795 no less than 21,000 Ashkenazi and 2,400 Sephardi Jews. Its community, often styled the "New Jerusalem," exceeded in size any contemporary or earlier European Jewish community, except perhaps those of ancient Rome and early modern Constantinople. France's total Jewish population at the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789 amounted to less than 40,000. Their majority was concentrated in Alsace – which at the time of its annexation by France after 1648 included a number of older Jewish communities. Lorraine's Metz speedily developed into a major center of some 3,000 Jews, whereas Strasbourg, the metropolis of the area, saw its privilege de non tolerandis Judaeis breached only in the 1780s. A governmental census of 1784, probably incomplete, enumerated 182 Alsatian localities embracing a Jewish population of 3,913 families and 19,707 persons (9,945 males and 9,762 females). The actual figures were a bit higher; Z. Szajkowski estimates the total at between 22,570 and 23,800 persons. It may also be noted that, in contrast to the German areas, Alsace under French domination witnessed a continued dispersal of Jewish settlements from 95 in 1689, to 129 in 1716, and 182 in 1784. Simultaneously, southern France, particularly Bordeaux and Saint Esprit, a suburb of Bayonne, in the 18th century accommodated a total of some 4,500 Jews. Characteristically, Paris, the very heart of French life and culture, barely tolerated 500–800 Jews at the outbreak of the French Revolution. England's Jewish population, too, still was very small, as was that of the New World. It is estimated that English Jewry embraced some 6,000 persons in 1730, and 12,000 in 1791. Other contemporary estimates raise this figure to 20,000 and more at the end of the 18th century. The large majority was concentrated in London (R.D. Barnett, in: V.D. Lipman (ed.), Three Centuries of Anglo-Jewish History (1961), 60f.). In contrast, the six known communities in the United States during the American Revolution counted among them only little more than 2,000 Jews. Possibly the same number was scattered through the Caribbean Islands and Surinam; the largest community among them, that of Kingston, Jamaica, numbered some 500 Jews, and thus rivaled New York in continental North America. On the other hand, the community of French Martinique, which was allegedly reinforced by 400 Jewish refugees from Brazil in 1654, was wiped out by the French decree of expulsion of 1683. In Latin America, under its intolerant Spanish and Portuguese regimes, only New Christians were sometimes grudgingly allowed to settle. In some areas they were quite numerous. Out of them subsequently emerged groups of professing Jews who helped populate the Western Hemisphere. The largest of these groups lived in Recife, Brazil; more than 1,000 of them publicly professed Judaism during the short-lived Dutch domination (1630–54). Upon the return of the Portuguese, the majority found refuge in Surinam, the Caribbean Islands, New Amsterdam (later New York, where 23 of them in 1654 laid the foundations for the largest Jewish community in history), as well as Holland. -1800–1939 A new phase of Jewish demography began with the 19th century. More and more countries now conducted regular censuses; many included a column relating to religious faith. The vast majority of Jews unhesitatingly indicated their Jewish allegiance to the census takers. In the early 1800s, to be sure, when censuses were still taken primarily for fiscal and military purposes, numerous Jews hesitated to appear before the enumerators. Their fears of discriminatory treatment were enhanced by the old folkloristic apprehensions, nurtured by the biblical references to the effects of David's census. According to Gustav Adolf Schimmer, one of the early pioneers in Jewish population studies (1873), there were many localities in Eastern Europe, where upon the advent of the census takers the entire Jewish youth vanished from the scene, to reappear only after the enumerators' departure. In time, however, as the censuses became more purely administrative and scholarly undertakings and were periodically repeated, their accuracy usually improved by the use of more refined techniques. Apart from supplying definite figures of the Jewish population and such other relevant information as that of the Jewish birth and mortality rates, sex and age distribution, marriages and divorces, they offered periodic data revealing the prevailing trends. Regrettably, this practice was not universal. Czarist Russia, where before 1914 almost half of the world Jewry resided, had no such dependable investigations until 1897 when the government and the Alliance Israélite Universelle from its Paris headquarters collaborated in the attempt to obtain more detailed statistical information about the Russian Jews who, because of recurrent pogroms and discriminatory legislation, had attracted world-wide attention. This endeavor was not repeated, however, except for a valiant but incomplete effort by the ORT in 1921, until 1926 when the Soviet Union took a comprehensive census of its own. Here the Jews were listed as a national, rather than religious group; however, removing some elements of comparison with the earlier accounts. Even worse was the situation in the Ottoman Empire and the other Muslim lands, where before World War I all population statistics were in a deplorable state. Not much better was the situation in the United States, the burgeoning world center of the Jewish people, which after World War I became the largest country of Jewish settlement. Because of the constitutional separation of state and church, the governmental censuses conducted every ten years since 1790 did not include a question on the person's religious allegiance. For a time the government collected data on the number of congregations affiliated with each denomination, their membership, and other pertinent factors. After 1890, however, the combination of these inquiries with the official decennial censuses was abandoned and a special "census of religious bodies" was instituted in the middle of each decade following the general census of 1900. The first such specific survey was made in 1906; it was followed by others in 1916, 1926, and 1936. However, the preparation of replies was left to the respective denominations themselves, many of which used different criteria for counting their members. In the case of Jews the religious censuses of 1906 and 1916 by definition counted only Jews who were members of congregations. In 1926 and 1936 a new definition was employed. The instructions given to the agent in charge read: "The Jews… now consider as members all persons of the Jewish faith living in communities in which local congregations are situated" (U.S. Census Bureau, Religious Bodies Summary, 1 (1926), 16). This definition greatly increased the totals from 357,135 in 1906 to 4,081,242 in 1916 and thereby removed the most important element for comparing the new results with the earlier accounts. The census itself admitted it by deleting any reference to Jews in the column recording the membership growth over the preceding two decades. Since the Jewish communities were unable to undertake a house-to-house enumeration, they had to rely upon information supplied by more or less informed local leaders whose estimates, frequently mere "guesstimates," often widely differed. The result was that the compilers of the census had to reach median numbers of such diverse estimates. The general result was that many figures, including the total membership of 4,641,184 in 1936, tended toward exaggeration. When almost simultaneously with the census of 1936 a more detailed canvass of ten important communities was conducted by local leaders under the sponsorship of the Conference on Jewish Relations, it turned out that the resulting more accurate figures ran between 8% and 20% below those suggested in the census. Of course, no one could be sure that the experience of these ten cities was typical of the whole country, particularly of the New York metropolitan area which apparently embraced some 40% of American Jewry. Even in those Western European countries, such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, or Italy, where the governmental censuses included a query concerning the inhabitants' religious preference, the returns are not completely reassuring. In the first place, all census bureaus (including that of the United States which uses highly refined statistical techniques) count with a margin of error of at least 1–1.5%. In the case of Jewish respondents the difficulty is aggravated by the uncertainty of "who is a Jew." Many persons who considered themselves Jews refused to give the enumerator straight answers about their religious preference, either because they felt that religion should be treated as a "private" concern which no government had any right to probe, or because, for a variety of reasons, they personally tried to hide their Jewishness. There is also the problem of children of mixed marriages who, according to rabbinic law, are automatically considered Jews if their mother is Jewish – a distinction which in practice is often disregarded, positively as well as negatively. Baron has suggested, therefore, that for practical reasons everyone be regarded as a Jew "who (1) is born of Jewish parents and has never been converted to another faith; (2) is born of mixed parentage but declares himself a Jew and is so considered by the majority of his neighbors; and (3) one who by conscious will has adopted Judaism." In view of these largely subjective criteria it has been found doubly imperative to supplement the official census data, wherever such exist, by more searching sample studies. Another complication has arisen in various countries as a result of the new Jewish national movement. Some Jews, professing no religion, nevertheless counted themselves as belonging to the Jewish "nationality," while others, even if staunchly Orthodox, regarded themselves as members of a different "nationality." Still other Jews who neither professed Judaism nor regarded themselves as nationally Jewish nonetheless thought of themselves as Jews and were thus regarded by their neighbors, Jewish and non-Jewish. The confusion arising from these varying definitions was well illustrated in 1921 in the first Czechoslovakian census. "The official figures showed that there were 336,520 Czechoslovak nationals (in addition to 17,822 foreigners) professing the 'Israelite' religion. Their majority, 180,616, declared themselves to be members of the Jewish nationality (this majority was larger in Slovakia and Carpathian Ruthenia but it turned into a minority in the main provinces of Moravia, Bohemia, and Silesia). Of the rest, 73,371 signed up as members of the Czech nationality, 49,123 as Germans, 29,473 as Magyars, 3,751 as Russians, 74 as Poles, and 112 as belonging to other nationalities. In addition, there were 100 persons who professed no religion but were members of the Jewish nationality. More astonishingly, there also were some members of the Jewish nationality who professed the Roman Catholic faith (74), Greek Catholicism (23), Greek Orthodoxy (12), Protestantism (19), and one woman, who was an adherent of the new Czechoslovak national faith. Thus the 180,616 members of the Jewish nationality who also professed the Jewish faith were joined by 229 co-nationals who professed other religions or none. There probably were many more thousands of Jews who never signed up as Jews by either nationality or religion and thus did not appear as such in the census" (S.W. Baron, "Who Is a Jew?" in History and Jewish Historians, 16f.). The matter was far more serious in the Soviet Union. With its anti-religious bias the government eliminated all references to religious preference from the census, leaving only the Jewish nationality as a criterion. While most Jews declared themselves Jews by nationality, in each case the decision depended on the nationality entered in the passports of the respective heads of households. For one example, Leon Trotsky always signed up as a Russian by nationality, whereas Maxim Litvinov, even while serving as Soviet ambassador to the United States or as a Soviet foreign minister, always carried with him a passport marking his membership in the Jewish nationality. There is no way of telling how many Jews thus escaped being counted in the censuses of 1926, 1939, and again, in 1959. If the first Soviet census, even with respect to the territories which had formerly been part of Czarist Russia, was not quite comparable to the 1897 enumeration, the one of 1939 came on the eve of World War II and the German invasion of Russia. It has been subjected, therefore, to little detailed scrutiny and its Jewish aspects in particular have been inadequately explored. Nonetheless, the situation was not hopeless. Many countries such as Austria-Hungary and its successor states, Germany, interwar Poland, the Baltic states, Romania, the emergent settlement in Palestine under the Mandate, and others had regular censuses which yielded relatively reliable information also on all aspects of Jewish demography. From these data one may deduce much also concerning the conditions in countries lacking satisfactory official census records. At any rate, quite apart from the accuracy of specific figures, certain major trends in the rise or decline of the Jewish population clearly manifested themselves throughout the Jewish world in the course of the 19th and the first third of the 20th centuries. This period was characterized by a "population explosion" of the Western world. In the relatively peaceful period of 1815–1914 Europe's population more than doubled (from some 190,000,000 to over 400,000,000), while European émigrés helped populate the Western Hemisphere and other continents. The United States alone increased its population from 7,240,000 in 1810 to 91,972,000 in 1910. Growth of this rapidity was owing less to increase in natality than to a sharp decrease in the death rate – a result of the great progress of medical science and the spread of more hygienic ways of life among the European and American masses. In the Jewish case these factors operated with redoubled intensity. Like their neighbors in Eastern Europe, Jews still married quite early, definitely earlier than the average couples in Central and Western Europe. Marriages of boys aged between 15 and 18 with 14–16-year-old girls were quite common. An 18th-century Polish census mentions a Jewish wife aged eight. (Even in the West the burgomaster of Amsterdam had to prohibit in 1712 a marriage of a Jewish couple under the age of 12.) These conditions prevailed through most of the 19th century. As late as 1891, Arnold White, an English visitor to the Jewish agricultural colonies in the Ukrainian province of Kherson, was told by some Russian landowners who employed Jews that "they have no vice, unless early, improvident, and fruitful marriages can be deemed a vice" (New Review, 5, 98). Moreover, more than their neighbors, East European Jews (and many West Europeans as well) took the rabbinic interpretation of the blessing in Genesis (1:28) "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth" as the first commandment in the Bible, rather than a blessing. A great many did not even consider the "moral restraint," propagated by Thomas Robert Malthus, as truly moral and hence shunned any form of birth control. More importantly, while their natality may more or less have equaled that of their equally fruitful East European neighbors, mortality, particularly the most decisive one of infants under one year of age and of children between two and five, was decidedly lower. In Czarist Russia's European provinces, for example, where general mortality per 1,000 inhabitants had declined from 37.1 to 31.2 between 1861–70 and 1895–1904, respectively, of 1,000 newly born children no less than 268 died before reaching their first birthday – a figure practically unchanged for several decades. Suffice it to mention that by 1967 the United States reduced its infant mortality to 22.1 per 1,000 and the U.S.S.R. to 26.3. Nor can these two superpowers boast of leading the world in this respect; they lag far behind Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan. The Jewish population of Israel had in 1966 an infant mortality of only 21.6 per 1,000. Among the reasons for the long-term Jewish record of keeping newly born children alive was the extreme rarity of illegitimate births among Jews. As late as 1929 and 1930 among 100 Jewish children born in Vilna only 0.5 and 0.9 were illegitimate, whereas the ratio among the Catholics was 14%. More generally, even in the crowded East European ghettos medical help was much more readily available, while better hygienic conditions prevailed owing to the numerous requirements for religious ablutions and ritual food controls. There also was relatively greater family cohesiveness and devotion of Jewish parents to their children. Moreover, because of the strong sense of responsibility for each member by the community at large and the presence of numerous charitable societies specifically devoted to help the indigent sick, even the destitute groups were rarely deprived of basic nourishment and medical care. The result was that even in New York City, where the gap between Jews and non-Jews was constantly narrowing, Jewish infant mortality in 1915 was only 78 for each 1,000 births, whereas that for the rest of the population amounted to 105. Similarly favorable, at least between 1800 and 1914, was the Jewish ratio in deaths occasioned by violence, particularly wars. It so happened that even most of the great Napoleonic battles took place outside territories densely inhabited by Jews. The same held true for the rest of the century until World War I. Jewish fatalities among combatants were relatively small because the two large centers of Jewish population, Czarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire, did not begin drafting Jews into the army until 1827 (in Congress Poland, 1845. and 1908, respectively. While in previous centuries Jews had suffered numerous casualties as a result of uprisings and massacres, the period of 1800 to 1914 was relatively quiescent in this respect. The Russian pogroms of 1881, 1891, 1903, and 1905, though highly significant in their psychological impact upon Jews and non-Jews, did not cause enough fatalities significantly to retard the growth of the Russian Jewish population. The situation changed abruptly during World War I when Poland, Galicia, Lithuania, Romania, as well as Salonika, Palestine, and other areas with large Jewish concentrations, were turned into theaters of war. Jewish combatants in the various armies also were quite numerous, probably exceeding 500,000 in the Russian, Austrian, German, and the Western Allied armies. Their high ratio of fatalities was exemplified by the death in battle of about 12,000 German Jewish soldiers. The aftermath of the war, particularly during the Communist Revolution and the civil war in Russia, and the following massacres of Ukrainian Jews, likewise caused much destruction of Jewish lives. However, the biological vitality of the people was still so great that losses thus sustained were quickly made up by the continuous natural increase in the world's Jewish population. Incipient signs of retardation became noticeable in the Western countries toward the end of the 19th century, however. As is well known, the French population during the first decades of the 20th century had become practically stationary. Germany, England, and the United States also had declining birthrates which progressively narrowed down the surplus of births over deaths. Because of their increased concentration in urban, even metropolitan areas, which revealed these tendencies most pronouncedly, Jews were ahead of their neighbors in reducing their birthrate. At the same time their death rate, which had long declined, began to be stabilized owing to the relatively larger segment of old persons in the Jewish population, the result of the previous decline in Jewish mortality. Even in Polish Lodz, in 1919–29, where Jewish infant mortality of 134–54 contrasted favorably with the corresponding non-Jewish mortality of 171–203 per 1,000 births, the ratios were reversed in the case of persons over 70. At the beginning of the 20th century these trends had become so manifest that in 1908 Felix A. Theilhaber (in Der Untergang der deutschen Juden) warned his German coreligionists that, if these demographic weaknesses were to continue unabated, German Jewry, without the aid of immigration from the outside, would decline rapidly and ultimately die out. These tendencies became more pronounced during and after World War I. In the years 1911–24 the general Prussian population still had an excess of births over deaths of 3,019,100 persons, but the Jewish population, on the contrary, had an excess mortality of 18,252. In 1925–28 Prussia's general population gained 1,182,056 persons, while the Prussian Jews lost 5,090 through natural causes (H. Silbergleit, Bevoelkerungs…, p. 39). These losses were made up only by the continued influx of Jews from Eastern Europe, as well as from the province of Posen (Poznan), which was allotted by the peace treaties to Poland. These adverse factors gradually unfolded also among the Jews of Western Europe and the United States. For example, a Jewish census taken in Buffalo in 1938 testified to a marked decline of the Jewish birthrate, much larger than that of non-Jews. While in the total population the age group under 15 amounted to 26.4% (1930), in the Jewish population it amounted to only 23.2%. The ratios of children under five were more unfavorable: 8.3 versus 6.3% (U.Z. Engelman, in: S. Robinson's Jewish Population Studies, 40). Most remarkably, these trends began affecting also the main reservoir of Jewish manpower in East-Central Europe. In 1926 the Soviet Jews had a birthrate of only 24.6 per 1,000 (as against 35.9 30 years before, and 43.3 of the 1926 Soviet population as a whole), the lowest of all major nationalities in the Union. Such large cities as Vienna and Budapest actually had an excess of Jewish mortality over natality (2,709 deaths vs. 1,343 births in Vienna in 1929 and a still larger surplus of 1,588 deaths in Budapest in 1932). Even in Warsaw in 1925–29 the Jewish ratio of 15.5 births vs. 11.1 deaths per 1,000 contrasted with that of 22.4:15.4 among the city's Christians. On a world scale these retarding tendencies still were partially made up by an increasing growth of the Jewish population in North Africa and some other Oriental communities. There the introduction of improved sanitary conditions and health services by the colonial powers before and after World War I created conditions similar to those of the European nations in the preceding century. With the speedily declining death rate, particularly among infants and children, and continued high birthrate, the surplus of births over deaths constantly increased. Nonetheless, the disquieting demographic trends in the much larger Ashkenazi communities were so great that in the 1930s sociologists began to warn the Jewish people that, before very long, their world population would become stationary and begin declining at an accelerated pace thereafter. Other socioreligious factors, especially conversions and mixed marriages, further aggravated the decline in the rate of increase in Jewish population. In the history of the Jewish dispersion both in the East and the West there always existed converts out of Judaism to Christianity and Islam. For the most part this was a one-way street, since conversions from the dominant faiths to Judaism were outlawed, often under the sanction of capital punishment. Such prohibitions continued throughout the 19th century in Czarist Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Elsewhere, too, social and economic pressures led many more Jews to adopt Christianity than vice versa. Even in Russia, with its staunchly Orthodox Jewish majority, strong conversionist impulses were generated by the Re krutchina (forcible draft for long-term military service, often involving young children) over the three decades of 1827–56 (see cantonists ). Under these and other pressures the number of baptized Jews increased substantially during the 19th century. According to the Berlin missionary, Johannes de la Roi, a biased but informed student of the missionary movements, no less than 84,500 Russian Jews found their way to the baptismal front in the 1800s ("Judentaufen im neunzehnten Jahrhundert, ein statistischer Versuch," in Nathanael, vol. 15, 65–118). The ratio was understandably higher in such a Western country as Prussia, where the number of Jewish converts to Christianity seems to have reached a peak of 3,771 in the years 1812–14, according to A. Menes' computation. Elsewhere the statistics are not very good but the number of Jews who left their community often increased threateningly. In Austria-Hungary, before World War I the second-largest center of the Jewish population, most of those who took that step were not necessarily converts. Many of them simply declared themselves persons without religion (konfessionslos). In Vienna alone the number of such losses to the community often amounted to 1,000 annually in the period after World War I. In Prussia, on the other hand, as a result of the Jewish Community Law of 1876 many Jews severed their ties with the existing communities because of real or alleged "religious scruples." While some of these Jews merely wished to separate themselves from the middle-of-the-road communities and to join special Orthodox groupings (the so-called Trennungsorthodoxie), most others did it for financial or other secularist reasons. In other countries, too, conversions to Judaism were relatively rare; they were far outweighed by conversions of Jews to other faiths, or their simple disappearance within the majority without formal action. Many of the konfessionslos persons, particularly in Austria, adopted this status in order to marry out of the faith, since until the interwar period the marriage of a Catholic to a Jew was legally invalid. In Germany, France, and Italy, too, mixed marriages were quite frequent. In one year (1927) 52% of marriages entered into by the Jews of Trieste had a non-Jewish partner. Demographically, intermarriage interfered with the growth of Jewish population in two ways. Unlike in the United States in recent years, European couples, when denominationally divided, as a rule raised their children as Christians rather than as Jews. Secondly, perhaps to avoid further complications, many intermarried couples refrained from having children altogether or were satisfied with but a single child. The end result was a further diminution of the Jewish numbers. Under these circumstances only tentative estimates can be given for many figures in Table 3, Jewish Population 1820–1939. They relate to the three periods of 1820–25 (rather than 1800, because after the rapid changes during the Napoleonic Wars the frontiers of the countries of Jewish settlement essentially stable until (World War I), 1900 (before World War I), and 1939 (on the eve of World II). Table 3. Jewish population 18201939 Table 3. Jewish population 1820–1939 2"> 1820–25 2"> 1900 2"> 1939 Jewish population Total population Jewish population Total population Jewish population Total population 2"> (in thousands) 7"> Europe Russia (including Congress Poland) 1,600.0 46,000 5,190.0 (1897) 126,368 U.S.S.R. (including Asiatic parts) – – – – 2,825.0 132,519 Poland (including Galicia, Posen, etc.) – – – – 3,250.0 32,183 Lithuania (1923) – – – – 155.0 2,029 Latvia (1935) – – – – 95.0 1,951 Estonia (1934) – – – – 4.56 1,126 Romania (enlarged after 1918) 80.0 3,335 267.0 5,956 850.0 18,053 Austria–Hungary (before 1918) 568.0 26,000 2,069.0 44,400 – – Austria (1934) – – – – 191.0 6,760 Czechoslovakia (1930) – – – – 357.0 14,730 Hungary (1930) – – – – 445.0 8,688 Yugoslavia (1931) – – 5.1 2,494 68.0 13,934 Greece – – 5.8 2,434 (1896) 73.0 (1928) 6,205 Turkey (European, 1935) – – – – 50.0 1,266 Germany 223.0 26,624 520.0 56,367 504.0 (1933) 65,988 Switzerland (1837) 2.0 2,190 12.5 3,315 18.0 (1930) 4,066 Italy 25.0 19,000 35.0 32,449 48.0 (1936) 42,528 Great Britain and Northern Ireland 20.0 21,130 200.0 41,457 300.0 (1931) 46,190 France (including Alsace–Lorraine) 50.0 30,000 115.0 (A.L.) 35.0 38,961 260.0 (1936) 41,906 Netherlands 45.0 2,460 104.0 5,179 112.0 (1930) 7,936 Belgium 2.0 3,500 20.0 6,693 60.0 (1930) 8,092 Europe (as a whole) 2,730.0 190,000 8,690.0 423,000 9,480.0 512,849 The Americas United States 8.0 5,308 1,000.0 75,995 4,975.0 (1940) 131,669 Canada – – 16.0 4,833 155.7.0 (1931) 10,377 Mexico – – 1.0 13,600 9.0 (1930) 16,523 Argentina – – 30.0 4,900 275.0 (1935) 12,958 Brazil – – 2.0 17,300 35.0 (1930) 40,273 Uruguay – – 0.9 840 12.0 (1931) 1,903 The Americas (as a whole) 10.0 – 1,175.0 144,000 5,537.0 261,985 7"> Asia Palestine 45.0 – 78.0 650 475.0 1,467 Asiatic Turkey – – 300.0 16,134 30.0 14,935 Iraq – – – – 91.0 3,560 Syria and Lebanon – – – – 26.0 (1935) 3,630 Yemen and Arabia – – 30.0 7,000 50.0 (1935) 1,000 Iran – – 35.0 9,000 50.0 (1935) 15,000 India – – 18.2 232,000 24.0 (1931) 352,838 China – – 2.0 402,680 10.0 (1936) 457,835 Japan – – – 43,760 2.0 72,876 Asia (as a whole) 300.0 – 420.0 857,000 1,047.0 1,094,524 population 7"> Africa Egypt – – 30.7 9,734 70.0 (1937) 15,905 Morocco – – 103.7 (1904) 5,000 162.0 (1936) 7,096 Algeria 20,000.0 (1851) – 51.0 4,729 110.0 (1931) 7,235 Tunisia – – 62.5 1,500 59.5 (1936) 2,608 Ethiopia – – 50.0 5,000 51.0 (1935) 10,000 Union of South Africa – – 40.0 1,100 90.7 (1936) 9,590 Africa (as a whole) 240.0 – 300.0 120,000 627.5 157,650 7"> Oceania Australia – – 15.0 3,036 23.6 (1933) 6,630 New Zealand – – 1.6 773 2.7 (1936) 1,574 Oceania (as a whole) 1.0 – 17.0 4,730 33.0 – World total 3,281.0 1,171,000 10,602.5 1,608,000 16,724.0 2,296,000 From the table's figures, however unreliable in detail, one may obtain an approximation of both the growth and the shifts of the Jewish population over the 120 years from 1820 to 1939. They are largely cited here from the works of Jacob Lestschinsky, notwithstanding serious reservations as to the accuracy of all such computations. The most startling evolution was, of course, that of the Jewish population in the Western Hemisphere which was owing more to Jewish migrations than to natural increase. The United States, in particular, in the half-century preceding World War I became the great magnet for immigrants from Eastern Europe, as well as from almost all other European and Middle Eastern countries. Suffice it to say that in the course of merely 24 years, from 1890 to 1914, some 30% of all East European Jews changed their residence to some overseas country, particularly the United States. In addition, there were major migratory movements of Jews within their countries of settlement. Many Russian Jews moved into the newly annexed neo-Russian territories in the south, including a number of agricultural colonies established for them on the initiative of the Czarist regime. They also spoke in the 1830s of the Jewish "discovery of Volhynia" which brought many new Jewish settlers from the western provinces into that area which had made noteworthy contributions to Jewish culture already in pre-partition Poland. On the other hand, a great many Russian Jews, often simply called Litvaks, settled in Congress Poland in the years before World War I. After the removal of the pale of settlement as a result of that war and the Communist Revolution, there was a great exodus of Jews from the original Pale into the interior of Russia, particularly the two metropolises of Moscow and Leningrad, as well as such newly founded industrial centers as Magnitogorsk in the Urals. There also was a small Jewish movement to Far Eastern birobidzhan , more significant ideologically than numerically. Similarly, there was a constant transplantation of Jews from Galicia to other parts of Austria-Hungary, particularly to neighboring Bukovina and Slovakia and the two capitals of Vienna and Budapest. The same holds true for the formerly Polish possessions incorporated into Prussia in the years 1772–95 but subsequently lost to resurrected Poland in 1919. The majority of Jewish residents of that area had been leaving it for other parts of Germany, England, and the United States throughout the 19th century, but their departure was accelerated after 1918. These migratory movements gave additional stimuli to the process of Jewish urbanization which had long been under way. The settlement of Jews in many major cities and metropolitan areas far exceeded their ratio in the respective populations. The climactic urban and metropolitan concentration of Jews continued in the course of the 20th century. -1940–1971 These three decades belong to the most portentous periods of human history, general and demographic. They also were of decisive historic importance in the destinies of the Jewish people. Begun with the great Holocaust, which destroyed thousands of European Jewish communities and ended eight centuries of European Jewish hegemony, the decade of the 1940s ended with the rise of the State of Israel. This ushered in an entirely new period of Jewish history which has already had demographic effects of enormous importance. Despite the ever-growing literature on the Holocaust, certain aspects have not yet been sufficiently explored. Among the questions still incompletely resolved is the precise number of victims of the Nazi extermination squads. The accepted figure of 6,000,000 Jews, along with many more millions of non-Jews slain by the Nazis, has often been challenged, especially by some German writers. One of the major difficulties in obtaining definitive and precise figures consists in the fact that, in pursuing their "final solution" of the Jewish question, the Nazi authorities were quite careful in simultaneously destroying human lives and the records pertaining to them. In his oft-quoted Posen speech of Oct. 4, 1943, Heinrich Himmler alluded to the "very grave matter" of exterminating Jews and declared: "Among ourselves it should be mentioned quite frankly, and yet we shall never speak about it publicly… I mean… the extirpation of the Jewish race. This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be written." Yet not only does the partial evidence from various localities confirm the 6,000,000 estimate, but it also emerges as the most likely figure from the demographic changes in European and world Jewish population during the war and postwar periods (see holocaust ). If on the eve of World War II the Jewish people numbered some 16,750,000, by 1945 this number was reduced to about 11,000,000. True, in addition to their victimization at the hands of Nazi extermination squads, Jews suffered considerable losses in manpower as combatants in the Soviet, U.S., and other armies, as well as from the numerous other adverse by-products of the great war. But these losses should easily have been made up by the natural growth of the Jewish population during the six war years, especially in the Western Hemisphere and other continents where the war touched only the periphery of Jewish life. Moreover, even the defeated nations of Germany, Italy, and Japan quickly recovered their biological strength and in the two decades of 1940–60 increased their populations by 25–33%. But the Jewish people which, if allowed to continue its population growth of the preceding two decades, by 1960 should have reached a total of 19,000,000–20,000,000 persons, counted instead no more than 12,800,000 persons. Even today, another decade later, it still is very far from returning to its populousness of 1939. As a result of the Holocaust and World War II there was a complete shift of the center of gravity of the Jewish people from the Old to the New World. With Russian Jewry not only weakened, but subject to a severe antisemitic onslaught especially during the declining years of Stalin's regime in 1948–52, its isolation from the rest of Jewry became even tighter than before. Its influence on the historic progress of the entire people, particularly in the cultural sphere, declined rapidly. The demographic picture, too, of the entire European Continent was affected adversely, although Western Europe, particularly France, has staged a steady recovery in the postwar era: in the French case because of the growing immigration of North African Jews. During the prolonged Algerian uprising the Jewish communities of that country reaching back to antiquity and glorying in a great historic tradition were nearly emptied; their majority found shelter in either France or Israel. So did many refugees from other Arab countries. In reaction to the rise of the State of Israel in 1948 anti-Jewish pressures on the declining Jewries in all Arab countries became unbearable. With the exception of Morocco and Tunisia where substantial remnants of the Jewish inhabitants have carried on against tremendous odds, the other Arab countries almost totally lost their long-established Jewish populations. On the other hand, the very rise of Israel opened untold new possibilities for the concentration of Jews in that country. By absorbing the majority of Jewish émigrés from the Arab lands, as well as most of the surviving remnants of victims of Nazi persecution in continental Europe located in the displaced persons camps, together with migrants from many other countries, Israel's unparalleled population growth more than redressed the balance as far as the continent of Asia was concerned. But Africa continued to be in the losing column also in many of the newly arisen black republics, where the small Jewish communities were further reduced in size by emigration. Regrettably, during the 1940–70 period the demographic facts relating to Jews became less rather than more thoroughly investigated. To begin with, such leading European countries as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Germany, and Holland, which before World War II offered, through their governmental censuses, excellent source material for Jewish demography, became so depopulated of Jews that between them they accommodated but little more than 1% of world Jewry. Their place was taken only by Israel, whose excellent censuses and annual statistical estimates have in many ways become a mainstay of Jewish demographic research. Israel scholarship has even helped to stimulate such investigation in other lands. In the largest country of Jewish settlement, the United States, the situation likewise improved somewhat. Although the governmental censuses still fail to supply adequate information, the awareness of U.S. Jewry of the need to be acquainted with the demographic facts of life had been sufficiently aroused to call forth a number of local surveys in the 1950s and the 1960s. While these were consistently enough pursued so as to furnish successive data from decade to decade, nor conducted with the same methods so as to make them fully comparable with one another, they managed to assemble a substantial body of material from which statistical conclusions of a sort could be derived with somewhat greater assurance. All this was merely a beginning, but it appeared, at least, to be a step in the right direction. Similar hesitant steps were made in Western Europe, Argentina, and most successfully, in Canada, where the governmental censuses help supply many vital statistics relating to Jews. At the same time figures for the second-largest Jewish community, that of the Soviet Union, were still almost exclusively dependent on foreign Jews analyzing the results of the official censuses. That of 1959 was published by the government in 16 volumes, together with some additional data periodically supplied by the official census bureau in regular bulletins. One of the most puzzling problems concerning that census was the question of the extent to which the figures given for Jewish "nationality" really covered Soviet Jewry. Though every Soviet citizen had to carry a "passport" indicating his "nationality" many Jews could escape registering as members of that nationality in the presence of enumerators, since the census takers were instructed to register only the indications made orally by the inhabitants without checking their documents. A good case was made, therefore, for raising the results of the 1959 census which gave the total number of Jews as 2,267,814 and to postulate that their total really came close to 3,000,000. On April 17, 1971, the Soviet press published the first summaries of the population census taken on Jan. 15, 1970. According to the figures quoted, the Jewish population fell from 11th to 12th in size among 100 nationalities in the Soviet Union, and the overall number of Jews declined from 2,267,814 (January 1959) to 2,151,000. Despite all the obscurities and uncertainties, one may perhaps venture to propose the Table: World Population, Jewish, largely based (with all due reservations) upon the estimates annually published in the American Jewish Year Book and the United Nations' Statistical Yearbook. Regrettably, some of the above data refer to censuses or estimates of populations in the cities proper, while others cover metropolitan districts of a wider area. In the same 1969 edition of The World Almanac (pp. 578f., 604ff., and 651), for example, the number of inhabitants in New York City, according to the census of 1960, was given as 7,781,984, and in Greater New York (embracing an additional 8 New Jersey and 5 New York counties) as 14,114,927. In Los Angeles the respective 1960 figures were 2,479,015 and 6,488,791; in Chicago: 3,550,404 and 6,488,791; in Buenos Aires: 2,966,816 and 6,762,629; in Paris: 2,811,171 and 7,369,387 (1962 census) or 9,811,171 (1968 estimate), and so forth. (Incidentally, the same issue of the Almanac, p. 602, offers somewhat different estimates of the Jewish population by counties and cities, as prepared by Dr. S.H. Linfield.) Jews had fully participated in that postwar movement, some call it flight, from the core cities to the suburbs, making estimates between official censuses or several years after the completion of communal surveys quite hazardous. It is quite evident that in 1970 about one-half of world Jewry lived in the Western Hemisphere, the United States embracing far more Jews than any other country. In 1970, the second- and third-largest concentrations were found in the U.S.S.R. and Israel. Together, the United States, the U.S.S.R., and Israel between them embraced more than 80% of world Jewry. The progress of Jewish settlement in major cities during the period of 1900–69 proceeded apace at a tempo even more rapid than that of the general population. Already before 1939 about one quarter of the entire Jewish people lived in metropolitan areas of over 1,000,000 each. Another quarter lived in cities with populations of between 100,000 and 1,000,000 inhabitants. Thirty years later the latter ratio still was approximately correct. But the percentage of "metropolitan" Jews had risen to about 40% of the whole people, leaving barely a third for localities, urban and rural, with less than 100,000 inhabitants. In many countries, moreover, the metropolitan ratios were considerably exceeded; for instance, in England, France, and Argentina, the majority of Jews have long lived in the capitals, while in the United States such a majority may be found in a radius of 100 miles from Times Square in New York. This evolution would not have been surprising even under more normal circumstances, since this is indeed a world-wide trend. Even the Soviet Union, which in the 1920s started as an overwhelmingly rural country, had an urban majority. The Holocaust, however, greatly accelerated that trend, inasmuch as it put an end to most of the agricultural colonies and other rural Jewish settlements in Russia, Carpathian Ruthenia (where originally more than one quarter of the Jewish population engaged in agriculture), and elsewhere. It also eliminated most of the hamlets which still accommodated a large segment of the East European Jewish population. Even in the United States postwar developments were not favorable to Jewish agricultural colonization. The same held true for Israel, where the mass immigration of the first 20 years of statehood strengthened the trend toward urban concentration. The increase in Jewish population from 1948 to 1968 lagged far behind that of the world population as well as that of most environmental peoples. Mankind as a whole increased by around 36% between 1948 and 1968, but world Jewry added less than 20% to its numbers. This is clearly not the result of increased mortality, but rather of a relatively lower birthrate. The phenomenon of the declining Jewish birthrate so manifest in the Western countries in the interwar period gave way to a growing natality in the 1940s and the 1950s. However, this trend seems not to have lasted to the same extent into the 1960s. While conversions to other religions greatly diminished, the relative demographic ravages caused by intermarriage increased, particularly in the U.S.S.R. and Western Europe, where the offspring of mixed marriages were more likely permanently to sever its ties with the Jewish community. Under these circumstances, it was clear that it would take many more years before the Jewish people recovered its population strength of 1939. For developments in the last third of the 20th century, see demography ; vital statistics . -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Jacobs, Studies in Jewish Statistics (1890); A. Nossig, Juedische Statistik (1903), incl. extensive bibl.; U.O. Schmelz (comp.), Jewish Demography and Statistics: Bibliography for 1920–1960 (1961), Heb. and Eng., with R. Shebath, addenda and index of names (1961); Zeitschrift fuer Demographie und Statistik der Juden (1905–1919); AJYB, index; JSOS, index; JJS; Baron, Social and Social2; idem, in: L. Feldman (ed.), Ancient and Medieval Essays; E. 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Rothenberg, in: JSOS, 29 (1967), 234–40; 31 (1969), 37–39; Palestine, Department of Statistics, Vital Statistics, Tables 1929–1945 (1947); Israel, Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel; United Nations, Statistical Office, Statistical Yearbook; U.O. Schmelz and P. Glikson (ed.), Jewish Population Studies 1961–1968 (1970). For the 1970–2005 period, see Bibliography in demography . (Salo W. Baron)
Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.