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Share of the Jewish population by origin in France 2015

The graph shows the distribution of the Jewish population or from Jewish culture in France in 2015, according to their origins. It appears that 41 percent of the French Jews or from Jewish culture had Sephardic origins, whereas 26 percent of them were from Ashkenazic ancestry. 14 percent of Jewish persons in France had both origins.

Jewish origins

The majority of Jewish persons in France have Sephardic origins. The word Sephardic comes from Hebrew Sepharad which means "the Jews of Spain". This population was originally from the Iberian peninsula but began to emigrate in the rest of Europe, and North Africa, at the beginning of the 15th century due to the Alhambra Decree by Spain's Catholic monarchy. Those expellees from Spain and Portugal arrived in France from 1492 onwards and settled in majority around the Gascony and Bordeaux. During the 20th century and the decolonization process numbers of Jews from North Africa moved to France which had a strong impact on the origins of the French Jewish population.

Ashkenazic Jews are from the Jewish diaspora population who congregated in the Holy Roman Empire. Yiddish is known as their traditional language and most of them settled in Western Germany and Northern France during Charlemagne's reign. Because of various persecutions they emigrated to Eastern Europe (Poland, Russia, Austria and Prussia) throughout the Middle Ages. Eastern Europe will remain the center of Ashkenazi Jewry until the Holocaust. The majority of victims of the Holocaust had Ashkenazic origins.

Distribution of Jewish population or of Jewish culture in France in 2015, according to their origin

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Release date

September 2015



Survey time period

June 10 to August 25, 2015

Number of respondents

724 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Special properties

Persons declaring to be of Jewish faith or to have at least one Jewish parent

Method of interview

Computer-assisted web interviews (CAWI)

Supplementary notes

* This question was phrased by the source as follows: "Vos origines sont-elles ...?"

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