Muslim population growth

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World Muslim population by percentage (Pew Research Center, 2014).

Muslim population growth refers to the topic of population growth of the global Muslim community. In 2006, countries with a Muslim majority had an average population growth rate of 1.8% per year (when weighted by percentage Muslim and population size).[1] This compares with a world population growth rate of 1.12% per year.[2] As of 2011, it is predicted that the world's Muslim population will grow twice as fast as non-Muslims over the next 20 years. By 2030, Muslims will make up more than a quarter of the global population.[3]

Muslim birth control[edit]

Coitus interruptus, a form of birth control, was a known practice at the time of Muhammad, . Umar and Ali, the second and fourth of the Rashidun caliphs, respectively, defended the practice.[4]

Muslims scholars have extended the example of coitus interruptus, by analogy, to declaring permissible other forms of contraception, subject to three conditions:[4][5]

  1. As offspring are the right of both the husband and the wife, the birth control method should be used with both parties' consent.
  2. The method should not cause permanent sterility.
  3. The method should not otherwise harm the body.


Estimating Muslim population growth is related to contentious political issues. Some Islamic groups have accused American demographers of releasing falsely low population numbers of Muslims in the U.S. to justify the marginalization of Muslims.[6]

In Asia[edit]


Islam is the fastest growing religion in India [7] The ratio of young children (aged 0–6) to the total population is also significantly higher among Muslims than Hindu in India.[8]

Demographers have put forward several factors behind high birthrates among Muslims in India. Sociologists point out that religious factors can explain high Muslim birthrates. Surveys indicate that Muslims in India have been relatively far less willing to adopt family planning measures and that Muslim girls get married at a much younger age compared to other Indian girls.[9] According to Paul Kurtz, Muslims in India are much more resistant to modern contraceptive measures compared to other Indians and as a consequence, the decline in fertility rate among non- Muslim women is much higher compared to that of Muslim women.[10][11] According to a 2006 committee appointed by the Indian Prime Minister, if the current trend continues, by the end of the 21st century India's Muslim population will reach 320 to 340 million people (or 18-19% of India's total projected population).[12] By 2011, it is estimated that Muslims are 17.7 crore (or 14.6% of India's population).[13] India has more Muslims than any other country in the world, except Indonesia and Pakistan.[14]


In China, Muslim population growth was 2.7% during 1964-1982, compared to 2.1% for the population as he next two decades from 2011, Pew projects a slowing down of Muslim population growth in China than in previous years, with Muslim women in China having a 1.7 fertility rate.[15] Many Hui Muslims voluntarily limit themselves to one child in China since their Imams preach to them about the benefits of population control, the amount of children Hui in different areas are allowed to have varies between one and three children.[16] Chinese family planning policy allows minorities including Muslims to have up to two children in urban areas, and three to four children in rural areas.

In Europe[edit]

See also: Islam in Europe

According to the Pew Forum, the Muslim population in Europe (excluding Turkey) was about 30 million in 1990, 44 million in 2010 and it is expected to increase to 58 million by 2030; the Muslim share of the population increased from 4.1% in 1990 to 6% in 2010, and will increase by nearly one-third over the next 20 years, reaching 8% in 2030.[17][18] There were 19 million Muslims in the European Union in 2010.

Data for the rates of growth of Islam in Europe reveal that the growing number of Muslims is due primarily to immigration and higher birth rates.[19] Muslim women today have an average of 2.2 children compared to an estimated average of 1.5 children for non-Muslim women in Europe.[17] While the birth rate of Muslim in Europe is expected to decline over the next two decades, it will remain slightly higher than in the non-Muslim population.[17] Except for Dutch-Turks, who have a lower birthrate (1.7) than the native Dutch population (1.8)[20][21]

There are around 100,000 Muslim converts in the UK.[22][23] France has seen conversions to the faith double in the past quarter century[24] In France there are an estimated 70,000 Muslim converts.[citation needed] In Germany 20,000 Muslim converts.[citation needed] In Spain 50,000 Muslim converts.[citation needed]

In World[edit]

  • According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the World Christian Database as of 2007 estimated the six fastest-growing religions of the world to be Islam (1.84%), the Bahá'í Faith (1.7%), Sikhism (1.62%), Jainism (1.57%), Hinduism (1.52%), and Christianity (1.32%). High birth rates were cited as the reason for the growth.[25]
  • Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiles the Vatican's yearbook, said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that "For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us". He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population—a stable percentage—while Muslims were at 19.2 percent. "It is true that while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer," the monsignor said.[26]


According to the New York Times, an estimated 25 percent of American Muslims are converts.[27] In Britain, around 6,000 people convert to Islam per year and according to a June 2000 article in the British Muslims Monthly Survey the bulk of new Muslim converts in Britain were women.[23] As apostasy is punishable by death in Islam; there is no reliable data on the number of Muslims who convert to other faiths or abandon their own faith. [28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Averaging of individual country figures from CIA factbook see also Demographics of Islam
  2. ^ CIA Factbook
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid. "Contraception: Permissible?," IslamOnline.
  5. ^ Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid. Question #1219. Islam Q&A. Accessed April 2006.
  6. ^ Cooper, William; Yue, Piyu (2008). Challenges of the Muslim World: Present, Future, and Past. Emerald Group Publishing. p. 106. 
  7. ^ "Census of India". Census of India. Census Data 2001: India at a glance >> Religious Composition. Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Shakeel Ahmad. Muslim attitude towards family planning. Sarup & Sons, 2003. ISBN 9788176253895. 
  10. ^ Guilmoto, Christophe. Fertility transition in south India. SAGE, 2005. ISBN 9780761932925. 
  11. ^ Paul Kurtz. Multi-Secularism: A New Agenda. Transaction Publishers, 2010. ISBN 9781412814195. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b c
  18. ^
  19. ^ "site". BBC News. 2005-12-23. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  20. ^ Factsheet Turks in the Netherlands, page 2 Abckenniscentrum, 2011
  21. ^ Sterke regionale verschillen in vruchtbaarheid naar herkomstgroepering CBS, 2012
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b "Women Converts". British Muslims Monthly Survey VIII (6). June 2000. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  24. ^ "Rise of Islamic Converts Challenges France". The New York Times. 2013-02-03. 
  25. ^ Staff (May 2007). "The List: The World's Fastest-Growing Religions". Foreign Policy (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). 
  26. ^ "– Vatican: Islam Surpasses Roman Catholicism as World's Largest Religion – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News". 2008-03-30. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  27. ^ Muslim Convert Faces Discrimination Accessed 2008-01-17
  28. ^ name=Abdul Rashied Omar (2009), “The Right to Religious Conversion: Between Apostasy and Proselytization”, in Peace-Building by, between, and beyond Muslim and Evangelical Christians, Editors: Abu-Nimer, Mohammed and David Augsburger, Lexington, pages 179-194