By the end of 2020, the number of Palestinians in Israel and the Palestinian territories could total 7.2 million compared to 6.8 million Jews, according to information the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics published on Monday.

According to the report, the number of Palestinians and Jews in" historical Palestine" (between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea) will total about 6.3 million each by the end of 2015, provided current growth rates remain the same.

The projected number of Palestinians worldwide is 11 million, of whom 4.2 million are living in the Palestinian territories, the bureau said.

The figure for the Palestinian territories includes 1.3 million Arabs living inside Israel, 4.9 million in Arab countries and around 630,000 in other countries, the bureau said.

By the end of 2011, there were 2.6 million Palestinians living in the West Bank and 1.6 million in the Gaza Strip, according to the bureau's report.

It said that of every 100 people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, about 44 are refugees: 42 per 100 in the West Bank and 58 per 100 in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian bureau said that the total fertility rate declined in 2010 to 4.2 births compared with six births in 1997. The rate in the Gaza Strip in 2010 was 4.9 births, compared to 3.6 births in the West Bank.

In Jordan, the bureau found, the total fertility rate for Palestinians is very high: 3.6 births compared to 2.5 in Syria and 3.2 in Lebanon.

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