On the eve of its 63rd Independence Day, the state’s population has surpassed 7.7 million, a growth of 2 percent since this time last year, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The figures, published on Sunday, show an increase of 155,000 citizens.

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Jews makes up some 75.3% of the population, or 5,837,000 people, while the Arab population has reached 1,587,000 (20.5%).

Non-Arabs and non-Jews make up 4.2% of citizens, or 322,000 people.

Since Independence Day last year, 178,000 babies were born, while some 43,000 people died. Close to 24,500 immigrants arrived, of those 6,500 were ex-pat Israelis returning home.

The CBS also reported that some 12,000 people left Israel for a variety of reasons.

In the state’s 63rd year, 70% of the population are Israeli-born citizens and most within this group are second generation.

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This is in stark contrast with 1948, when only 35% of citizens were native-born.

The data also shows that while in 1948, only Tel Aviv boasted 100,000 residents, today 14 cities hold that distinction.

Six cities have more than 200,000 residents – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Petah Tikva.

According to a CBS report released last Rosh Hashana, Israel is still a fairly young nation with nearly 28% of its population under the age of 14, compared to 17% in Western countries on average.

Only 10% of the country’s population is over the age of 65, while in other Western countries the average is closer to 15%.

Recent data also show that the average Jewish family size has increased from 2.8 children per household in 2008 to 2.96 in 2009.

Among Muslims, the average number of children was 3.84 last year, a fall from two years ago when it reached 3.97 children per household.

Among Christians, the average number of children was down to 2.11 in 2008.

Women continue to slightly outnumber men, especially among older people.

There are roughly 979 men for every 1,000 women, however in the 75 and over group, there are 673 men for every 1,000 women.

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