By the Claims Conference Centre for the Study of Democracy…

The Global Demographic Report on Jewish Holocaust Survivors, released today by the Claims Conference, summarizes demographic data of the worldwide population of survivors of Nazi persecution.

Today, the Claims Conference released its Global Demographic Report on Jewish Holocaust Survivors, which summarizes demographic data of the worldwide population of survivors of Nazi persecution. The study reveals that approximately 245,000 Holocaust survivors are living across more than 90 countries. At the time of publication, the median age of survivors is 86; ages range from 77 years to over 100, with birthdates reaching back as far as 1912.

In a world that continues to echo the atrocities of the Holocaust, the release of this report is not just an academic exercise but a crucial step towards ensuring the ongoing support and care of survivors who continue to be a testament to resilience, survival, and the indomitable human spirit. This report is a call to action, urging us to recognize and safeguard the remaining survivors and stand by survivors in their times of need.

In addition to the Global Demographic Report on Jewish Holocaust Survivors, we have also released the New York Demographic Report. Both the global report and the New York specific report can be seen here.

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Key findings from the Claims Conference’s newly released Global Demographic Report on Jewish Holocaust Survivors.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference has committed to securing justice for Jewish Holocaust survivors. Through our negotiations with the German and Austrian governments, we have achieved and administered several compensation programs that provide direct payments to survivors globally, grants to over 300 social service agencies, and vital services such as home care, food, medicine, transportation, and socialization.

The facilitation of these programs, funding, and services has culminated in a unique global database of Jewish Holocaust survivors. The database served as the foundation for the Global Demographic Report on Jewish Holocaust Survivors, summarizing data on survivors’ demographic composition worldwide of those known by the Claims Conference, including country of birth, current residence, age, sex, and the percentage receiving various compensations and services.

The Global Demographic Report on Jewish Holocaust Survivors key findings include:

  • There are an estimated 245,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors globally, living across more than 90 countries.
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of all survivors reside in Israel; 18 percent reside in Western Europe and 18 percent reside in North America, with 16 percent of all survivors worldwide residing in the United States. Approximately 12 percent reside in countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU).
  • The median age of Jewish Holocaust survivors is 86. The population of survivors at the time of this report ranges in age from 77 to over 100 years of age and are born between 1912 and 1946.
  • The majority of Jewish Holocaust survivors (95 percent) are “child survivors” who were born between 1928 and 1946.
  • 20 percent of Jewish Holocaust survivors are over the age of 90. This is a period of life characterized by an increased need for care and services.
  • The majority of Jewish Holocaust survivors are female (61 percent), and only 39 percent of the population are male.
  • Nearly 40 percent of survivors receive monthly payments through Claims Conference programs negotiated with Germany, while the remaining population are eligible for one-time or annual payments.
  • Forty percent of survivors currently receive or have received, in the past year, social welfare services provided by over 300 agencies that receive grants administered by the Claims Conference. Services include homecare, food, medicine, transportation socialization and other services specific to the individual needs of survivors (Of course, these survivors are entitled to compensation as well).

The Claims Conference’s Global Demographic Report on Jewish Holocaust Survivors identified where Holocaust survivors currently reside, finding that nearly half of all Holocaust survivors worldwide live in Israel, while 16 percent reside in the United States. 

In terms of compensation and services, nearly 40 percent of Jewish Holocaust survivors receive services funded by the Claims Conference. About 17 percent receive Claims Conference’s Article 2 and Central and Eastern European Fund (CEEF) – programs established to provide monthly pensions (paid quarterly) for survivors incarcerated in camps, ghettos, or who lived in hiding or under a false identity – and nearly two-thirds (62 percent) have received at least one payment under the Hardship Fund Supplemental Payment program, a payment for survivors who do not receive a monthly pension payment through one of the other programs. It is notable that every survivor living around the world has been entitled to a payment since 2021.

Beyond the numbers, it is crucial to recognize the individuals they represent. Nearly all these survivors were born into a world that wanted to see them murdered. They endured the atrocities of the Holocaust in their youth and were forced to rebuild an entire life out of the ashes of the camps and ghettos that ended their families and communities.

The Global Demographic Report on Jewish Holocaust Survivors found that 61 percent of survivors are female while 39 percent are male, with survivor age ranging from 77 to 112 years old.

As Gideon Taylor, Claims Conference President, said, “The data we have amassed, not only tells us how many and where survivors are, it clearly indicates that most survivors are at a period of life where their need for care and services is growing. Now is the time to double down on our attention on this waning population. Now is when they need us the most.”

The findings in the Global Demographic Report on Jewish Holocaust Survivors help us better understand our collective responsibility to continue supporting Holocaust survivors worldwide. The Claims Conference remains committed to ensuring survivors continue to live their final years with the dignity robbed from them in their youth.