As Israel prepares to celebrate its 66th birthday, the Central Bureau of Statistics released a report on Thursday estimating the country’s population at 8.18 million.

There are 6.135 million Jewish residents – 75 percent of the total population – and the Arab Israeli population stands at 1.694 million, or 20.7% of the country’s inhabitants.

The additional 4.3%, approximately 345,000 people, are non-Arab Christians or people of other religions, as well as those with no religious affiliation.

The population in Israel grew by about 157,000 people, or 2%, since last year, according to the report.

The figures showed that 178,000 babies were born this past year while 42,000 deaths were recorded.

With regards to aliya, 24,000 new immigrants and returning residents arrived in that same period.

At the end of 2012, approximately three-quarters of the Jews in Israel were Sabras – born in the country – and more than half were at least second-generation natives.

These figures indicate a drastic increase since the foundation of the state in 1948, when there were 806,000 Israelis, of whom 35% were native-born.

In 1948, Israel had only one city in which the population exceeded 100,000 residents, Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Today, 14 cities have populations of more than 100,000, of which six have more than 200,000 residents: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Rishon Lezion, Ashdod and Petah Tikva, according to the report.

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