JERUSALEM (JTA) — The number of Palestinians living in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza will equal the number of Jewish Israelis in 2016, according to Palestinian statistics. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in a report summarizing 2014 determined that the projected number of Palestinians in the world is 12.1 million, of whom 4.62 million live in the West Bank and Gaza, 1.46 million in Israel, 5.34 million in Arab countries and some 675,000 in foreign countries.
The number of Palestinians and Jews in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza will total about 6.42 million each in 2016 if current growth rates remain constant, according to the bureau, which determined that the number of Palestinians in those areas will total 7.14 million compared to 6.87 million Jews by the end of 2020.
The estimated birth rate of all Palestinians is 32.3 births per thousand, with 29.4 in the West Bank and 36.8 in Gaza. The rate is expected to decline to 29 by 2020, according to the bureau.