At the start of 2019, Israel's population nears 9 million
Thousands pray for forgiveness at a Selichot service, prior to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem on Sept 16, 2018. (Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

(JNS) With the start of 2019 approaches, Israel's population is 28,000 away from 9 million people, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced on Monday.

The count of 8,972,000 is 174,000 more people than the previous year, according to the bureau.

Of that figure, 6,668,000 (74.3 percent) are Jews, 1,878,000 are Arabs (20.9 percent), while 426,000 (4.8 percent) are defines as "other."

The Jewish community added more than 100,000, while the Arab population added 37,000 with another 3,500 for other populations.

The bureau said 185,000 babies were born, and 28,000 new immigrants arrived — one-third from Russia, 19.6 percent from Ukraine, 8 percent from France, a similar figure from the United States, 4.9 percent from Asia and 1.6 percent from Africa.

The number of deaths was around 45,000, with 7,000 eliminated from the population counts after being overseas for more than a year.

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