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Pew survey shows Jewish population drop in Europe

Approximately 1.4 million Jews live in continent, down from 2 million in 1991 and 3.2 million in 1960

A man wearing a kipah looks on, as people take part in a demonstration called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France on July 31, 2014, in front of a Lyon synagogue. (AFP/Romain LaFabregue/File)
A man wearing a kipah looks on, as people take part in a demonstration called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France on July 31, 2014, in front of a Lyon synagogue. (AFP/Romain LaFabregue/File)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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