Chabad estimates vary a great deal. It is often reported that Chabad members number some 200,000.
Samuel Heilman has estimated Chabad at around 40,000. But even he is unsure whether or not to count the Jews who have joined the many Chabad centers across the globe as members of the Chabad movement proper.
Heilman’s figure might not be that far off. But suppose we could get a solid estimate for Chabad in the US using Jewish day school figures?
In the US, there are around 13,000 students in Chabad day schools. Jewish day school education is pretty much the standard among US Orthodox Jews. So it is reasonable to assume that these students are from Chabad homes.
If this is so, suppose we try calculating based on this figure? All we would need is the number of children per Chabad home. Working backwards, we might be able to get a safe estimate for the number of Chabad Jews in the US.