New report reveals which country has highest rate of intermarriage – over 75%

The report by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research also claimed that decreasing fertility rates, and not assimilation, was the number one threat to Jewish perpetuity.

By World Israel News Staff

Two out of every five Jews outside of Israel is married to a non-Jew, with Poland ranking first in the rate of intermarriage and Belgium last, a report on intermarriage published Tuesday by the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research said.

The report, titled “Intermarriage of Jews and Non-Jews: The Global Situation and its Meaning,” found that contrary to traditional thinking, the trends in Jewish population growth are more significantly impacted by fertility rates than by rates of assimilation.

Forty-two percent of Diaspora married Jews have a non-Jewish partner. Include Israel in the mix and that number drops to 26%.

In Poland, which holds the record for the highest rates of mixed marriages, over three-quarters (76 percent) of Jews are in interfaith marriages. This is closely followed by Russia, where nearly 63 percent of married Jews have spouses of different faiths. Over the last year, Russia has represented approximately 80 percent of aliyah, thereby providing an explanation for why the majority of recent immigrants to Israel are not Jewish.

“In this day and age, it would be imprecise, or even incorrect, to see intermarriage as ‘the threat’ to Jewish demographic sustainability,” Haaretz cited demographer Daniel Staetsky, who authored the report, as saying. “Things are not as simple as that. It may have been different in the past, but today, the main threat is low fertility.”

Contrary to common perception, the report revealed that intermarriage rates within the United States, which has the biggest Jewish community outside Israel, are not extraordinarily elevated compared to other nation, and further — the report indicates that intermarriage rates among young Jewish Americans are actually declining. This trend can be attributed to the fact that religious Jews, who are considerably less likely to intermarry, often have larger families. As a result, their representation within the younger generation is progressively increasing.