Muslim population growth

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

Muslim population growth is the population growth of Muslims worldwide. In 2010–2015, the expected Muslim growth rate was 1.8%.[needs update][1] This compares with average world population growth rate of 1.2% per year for the referenced period.[2] Young median age and high fertility rate of Muslims relative to other religious groups are significant factors behind Islam's population growth.[3][4] As of 2015, the Muslim fertility rate for all 49 Muslim-majority countries is 2.9—well above the global rate—but down from 4.3 in 1990–1995.[5] According to a study published in 2011 by Pew Research, there is a lack of reliable data however religious conversion might have no net impact on the Muslim population as the number of people who convert to Islam is thought to be similar to those who leave Islam.[3][4][6] According to another study published in 2015 by the Pew Research Center, Islam is expected to gain a net of 3 million adherents through religious conversion between 2010 and 2050, which makes Islam the second largest religion in terms of net gains through religious conversion after religiously unaffiliated, mostly comes from Sub Saharan Africa (2.9 million).[7]

By region[edit]

World[edit]

The six fastest-growing religions in the world are estimated to be Islam (1.84%), the Baháʼí Faith (1.70%), Sikhism (1.62%), Jainism (1.57%), Hinduism (1.52%), and Christianity (1.38%), with high birth rates being cited as the major reason.[8]

Asia[edit]

Islam is currently the largest religion in Asia. According to the Pew Research Center, 27.3% of the people living in the Asia-Pacific region in 2030 will be Muslim, up from about a quarter in 2010 (24.8%) and 21.6% in 1990.[3]

India[edit]

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in India.[9] Growth rate of Muslims has been consistently higher than the growth rate of Hindus, ever since the census data of independent India has been available. For example, during the 1991-2001 decade, Muslim growth rate was 29.5% (vs 19.9% for Hindus). However, Muslims population growth rate declined to 24.6% during 2001-2011 decade, in keeping with the similar decline in most religious groups of India.[10][11][12][13]

In India regarding attitudes "toward birth control," younger (ages 10–19) Muslim women are less likely to favor it than are older (ages 20–30). Regarding "knowledge of birth control," younger (ages 10–19) Muslim women know less than do older (ages 20–30). "Muslim marriages take place earlier" than other religions, and younger (ages 10–19) Muslim women are more likely to want to have "many children" than are older (ages 20–30).[14]

According to Paul Kurtz, Muslims in India are much more reluctant to modern contraceptive measures compared to other Indians and, as a consequence, the fertility rate among non-Muslim women is much lower compared to that of Muslim women.[15][16] Islam is the second-largest religion in India, making up 14.2% of the country's population with about 172 million adherents (2011 census).[17] In 2010, India had the second largest population of Muslims, after Indonesia and ahead of Pakistan.[18]

China[edit]

In China, Muslim population growth has been estimated to be as much as 2.7% from 1964 to 1982, however the Pew Research Center projects a slowing down of Muslim population growth in China due to the harsh treatment towards Muslims in China such as in Xinjiang and due partly to the fact that many Hui Muslims are ordered by the government to limit themselves to one child in China.[19] By contrast, China's Christian population growth has been estimated at 4.7% based on total population figures from the year 1949.[20] The number of permitted births in China varies between one and three children depending on geographic area.[21] 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.[citation needed]

Europe[edit]

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in Europe.[22][23] According to the Pew Research Center, the Muslim population in Europe (excluding Turkey) was about 30 million in 1990, and 44 million in 2010; the Muslim share of the population increased from 4.1% in 1990 to 6% in 2010.[3] In recent years, "Europe has experienced a record influx of asylum seekers fleeing from Syria and predominantly Muslim countries" due to various conflicts in its country.[24] And, the wave of Muslim migrants has caused debates about immigration and security policies and raised questions about the current and future number of Muslims in Europe.[24] There were approximately 19 million Muslims in the European Union in 2010 or about (3.8%).[25] Data for the rates of growth of Islam in Europe reveal that the growing number of Muslims is due primarily to immigration.[26] Additionally, average Muslims today are younger and have a higher fertility than other Europeans.[24] Between the mid-2010 and mid-2016, migration was the biggest factor driving the growth of Muslim populations in Europe.[27] Approximately, 2.5 million Muslims came to Europe for reasons other than employment and education.[27] And, more than 1.3 million Muslims received and are expected to receive refugee status, allowing them to stay in Europe.[27]

In 2016, the median age of Muslims throughout Europe was 30.4, 13 years younger than the median age of other Europeans.[27] 50% of all European Muslims are younger than 30, however, only 32% of non-Muslims in Europe were under the age of 30.[27] A survey conducted by Pew Research Center in 2016 found that Muslims make up 4.9% of all Europe's population.[28] According to a same study conversion does not add significantly to the growth of the Muslim population in Europe, with roughly 160,000 more people leaving Islam than converting into Islam between 2010 and 2016.[28]

France[edit]

In France there are an estimated 100,000 Muslim converts, compared with about 50,000 in 1986.[29] The population mostly originate from the Maghreb, and, France is home to a third of EU Muslims.[30] As of mid-2016, there are 5.7 million Muslims in France (8.8% of the population) and the Muslim population continues to grow.[27]

Germany[edit]

In Germany, there are approximately 5 million Muslims (6.1% of the population), and at least 2.3 million trace their origin to Turkey.[27][30] The “guest worker program” and the domination of Turkish religious authorities have increased German Islam.[30] A report from Pew found "Germany as the top destination for Muslim migrants between 2010 and 2016".[31]

United Kingdom[edit]

The United Kingdom is home to 1.5 to 2 million Muslims (3% of the population) and has the highest number of Muslim migrants.[31][30] Most originate from South Asia, particularly Pakistan.[30]

Italy[edit]

The presence of Muslims in Italy is fairly new. There are approximately 1 million Muslims (1.5% of the population) and most come from Morocco and Albania.[30]

By denomination[edit]

The following table lists historical growth rates (rounded) by schools and branches in Islam as published by the previous two editions of the World Christian Encyclopedia.[citation needed]

Branches/Schools Growth rate (%) in 1982 Growth rate (%) in 2001
Sunni
- -
Hanafi 2.8 2.1
Shafi 2.9 2.2
Maliki 2.4 2.0
Hanbali 2.7 2.2
Shia - -
Twelver 2.8 2.2
Isma'ili 3.4 2.7
Zaydi 2.8 2.3
Alawites 2.8 4.2
Khariji 2.7 2.1

Conversion[edit]

Counting the number of converts to a religion is difficult, because some national censuses ask people about their religion, but they do not ask if they have converted to their present faith, and In some countries, legal and social consequences make conversion difficult, such as death sentence of leaving Islam in some Muslim countries.[32][33][34][35][36] Statistical data on conversion to and from Islam are scarce.[37] According to a study published in 2011 by Pew Research, what little information is available suggests that religious conversion has no net impact on the Muslim population as the number of people who convert to Islam is roughly similar to those who leave Islam.[3][4][37] According to another study published on 2015 by Pew research center, Islam is expected to experience a modest gain of 3 million adherents through religious conversion between 2010 and 2050, although this modest impact, this will make Islam, compared with other religions, the second largest religion in terms of net gains through religious conversion after religiously unaffiliated, which expected has the largest net gains through religious conversion.[7]

According to The New York Times, an estimated 25% of American Muslims are converts.[38] 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.[39] According to The Huffington Post, "observers estimate that as many as 20,000 Americans convert to Islam annually."[40]

According to Pew Research, the number of U.S. converts to Islam is roughly equal to the number of U.S. Muslims who leave the religion, and this unlike other religions there, as the number of those leaving religions there is greater than the number of converts.[41] 77% of new converts to Islam are from Christianity, whereas 19% were from non-religion. Whereas, 55% of Muslims who left Islam went to non-religion, and 22% converted to Christianity.[41] Data from the General Social Survey in the United States show that 32 percent of those raised Muslim no longer embrace Islam in adulthood, and 18 percent hold no religious identification.[42]

According to the historian Geoffrey Blainey from the University of Melbourne, since the 1960s there has been a substantial increase in the number of conversions from Islam to Christianity, mostly to the Evangelical and Pentecostal forms.[43] Scholar David Radford from the University of South Australia estimated that in 2015 "between 8 and 10 million former Muslims have converted to Christianity in the past two decades",[44] A 2015 study found that, since 1960, up to 10.2 million Muslims worldwide have converted to Christianity.[45] Many Muslims who convert to Christianity face social and governmental persecution.[43] Whereas, according to Guinness, approximately 12.5 million more people converted to Islam than people converted to Christianity between 1990 and 2000.[46] The increasingly large ex-Muslim communities in the Western world that adhere to no religion have also been well documented.[47]

Despite this, Islam remains, on the global level, the second religion with the largest amount of net converts into the religion, with about 420,000 more people converting to Islam than leaving Islam between 2015 and 2020.[48]

Historical Muslim population[edit]

Historical muslim population in the World[4][49]
Year Muslim Population
1800 91 million
1900 200 million
1970 577 million
2000 1.291 billion
2013 1.635 billion
2016 1.8 billion

Projections[edit]

Future muslim population in the World[3][50][51]
Year Muslim Population
2030 2.2 billion
2050 2.76 billion
2070 3.0 billion


See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ a b c d "Why Muslims are the world's fastest-growing religious group". Pew Research Center. 23 April 2015. Archived from the original on 20 March 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  5. ^ Krithika Varagur (November 14, 2017). "The Muslim Overpopulation Myth That Just Won't Die". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  6. ^ Johnson, Todd M.; Grim, Brian J. (25 March 2013). The World's Religions in Figures: An Introduction to International Religious Demography. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118323038. Archived from the original on 9 December 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Cumulative Change Due to Religious Switching, 2010–2050, p.43" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
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  9. ^ "Census of India". Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
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  12. ^ "The Myth Of The Muslim Population Bomb". Tehelka. Archived from the original on 4 June 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
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  14. ^ Shakeel, Ahmad (2003). Muslim Attitude Towards Family Planning. Sarup & Sons. pp. 26, 33, 47, 51. ISBN 9788176253895. Archived from the original on 2020-09-28. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
  15. ^ Guilmoto, Christophe (2005). Fertility transition in South India. SAGE Publishing. ISBN 9780761932925.
  16. ^ Kurtz, Paul (2010). Multi-Secularism: A New Agenda. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 9781412814195.
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  23. ^ Cherribi, Sam (2010). In the house of war: Dutch Islam observed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 33. ISBN 9780199734115.
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  25. ^ The Future of the Global Muslim Population - Region: Europe (Report). Pew Research Center. 27 January 2011. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  26. ^ "Muslims in Europe: Country guide". BBC News. 2005-12-23. Archived from the original on 2009-09-29. Retrieved 2010-04-01.
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  28. ^ a b Hackett, Conrad (November 29, 2017), "5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe", Pew Research Center
  29. ^ de la Baume, Maïa (3 February 2013). "More in France Are Turning to Islam, Challenging a Nation's Idea of Itself". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 22 February 2017. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
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  32. ^ "The Future of World Religions p.182" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 April 2015. This analysis of religious switching draws on surveys in 19 countries where Muslims constitute a majority of the population. Generally, however, there are few reports of people disaffiliating from Islam in these countries. One reason for this may be the social and legal repercussions associated with disaffiliation in many Muslim-majority countries, up to and including the death penalty for apostasy. It is possible that in the future, these societies could allow for greater freedom to religiously disaffiliate. The demographic projections in this report do not seek to predict the likelihood of such changes in political and social dynamics, or to model what the consequences might be.
  33. ^ "The Future of the Global Muslim Population". There are a number of reasons why reliable data on conversions are hard to come by. Some national censuses ask people about their religion, but they do not directly ask whether people have converted to their present faith. A few cross-national surveys do contain questions about religious switching, but even in those surveys, it is difficult to assess whether more people leave Islam than enter the faith. In some countries, legal and social consequences make conversion difficult, and survey respondents may be reluctant to speak honestly about the topic. Additionally, for many Muslims, Islam is not just a religion but an ethnic or cultural identity that does not depend on whether a person actively practices the faith. This means that even nonpracticing or secular Muslims may still consider themselves, and be viewed by their neighbors, as Muslims.
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  44. ^ Radford, David (2015). Religious Identity and Social Change: Explaining Christian conversion in a Muslim world. Routledge. ISBN 9781317691716. between 8 and 10 million former Muslims have converted to Christianity in the past two decades
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