Israel’s population has reached 8 million – an increase of 1.8 percent or some 137,000 people – since last year, according to a report the Central Bureau of Statistics released on Sunday.

The report, which comes out annually on the eve of Independence Day, also pointed out that at the time of the establishment of the state, the population was 806,000.

According to the data, 75.3% of the population – about 6 million people – is Jewish, while the country’s Arab residents – some 1.6 million people – represent 20.7% of the population.

The remaining 4% – 318,000 people – are non-Arab Christians, individuals with other religions and those with no religious affiliation.

Between last year’s Independence Day and Sunday, some 163,000 babies were born in Israel and about 41,000 people died. About 19,500 people made aliya.

At the end of the year 2011, more than 70% of the Jewish population in Israel was composed of native Israelis, more than half of whom were at least second generation natives, compared to 35% back in 1948, the CBS figures showed.

In 1948, Tel Aviv was the only city in Israel with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Today, there are 14 such cities. Out of the 14, six have over 200,000 residents: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Petah Tikva.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger