The growth rate of the settler population in 2012 was five percent, which means that the number of Israelis in the West Bank increased at a pace almost three times as fast the nation’s 1.9 percent growth rate last year, according to numbers released Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

Put in real numbers, the number of West Bank settlers in 2012 was 341,400, up by 16,200 from the 2011 population of 325,200, according to the CBS.

The 11,100 babies born to settler families in 2012 contributed to 68.5 percent of the population growth, while the remaining 31.5 percent increase came from the 5,100 people who moved into West Bank settlements last year.

The 2012 settler population represents a small increase both in the rate of growth and the actual growth that occurred in the last few years, according to the CBS.

In 2009, there were 296,700 settlers living in the West Bank, for a growth rate of 5.3 percent compared to the nation’s 1.8 percent rate that year, according to the CBS.

But in 2010, the settler growth rate dipped slightly to 4.9 percent, while that of the nation’s rose slightly to 1.9 percent. Put in real numbers, the settler population grew by 14,400 for a total of 311,100 that year, according to the CBS.

The growth rate dropped again in 2011 to 4.6 percent and that of the nation’s dipped to 1.8 percent. Put in real terms, the settler population in 2011 grew again by 14,400 for a total of 325,200, according to the CBS.

Despite the rapid rate of growth, the settlement population represents only 4.2 percent of the country’s overall population of 7.9 million in 2012.

Close to half of the settler population in 2012 lived in only five of the 130 West Bank settlements. The largest West Bank settlement, Modi’in Illit, had a population of 55,494 in 2012, followed by Betar Illit with a population of 42,467.

Some 36,862 settlers lived in Ma’aleh Adumim in 2012, 18,176 people lived in Ariel and another 13,466 lived in the Givat Ze’ev settlement, according to the CBS.

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