The number of Arabs and Jews in Israel and the occupied areas will be equal by 2016, but the number of Arabs will exceed that of Jews by 2020, a report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday.

The estimated number of Palestinians in the world at the end of 2012 is 11.6 million, of whom 4.4 million are in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and 1.4 million live inside Israel.

The PCBS said the number of Arabs in Israel and the occupied territories is estimated at 5.8 million at the end of 2012, compared to a predicted 6 million Jews.

It forecast that the number of Arabs and Jews will total around 6.5 million each by the end of 2016.

However, with an Arab fertility rate at 3.3 births inside Israel, and 4.4 million in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, compared to three births among Jews, the number of Arabs will exceed that of Jews by 2020, to reach 7.2 million Arabs compared to 6.9 million Jews.

The PCBS said 2.7 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 1.7 million live in the Gaza Strip.

According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel's population at the end of 2012 stands at nearly 8 million, of whom 5.9 million are Jews and 1.4 million are Arabs.