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Europe's Muslim population expected to rise by third by 2030

If current trends continue 79 countries will have a million or more Muslim inhabitants in 2030, up from 72 countries in 2011.

Source : Agencies / 07 Mar 2014

According to the Pew Islam is growing about 2.9% per year. This is faster than the total world population which increases about 2.3% annually. The world’s Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35% in the next 20 years. In mid 2010 the Pew forum estimated that there were 1.57 billion Muslims in the world. This represents 22% of the world’s population.

Islam is the second largest religion in the world, beaten only by Christianity which represents 33% of the world’s population with a little over 2 billion adherents.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life stated that Islam is the fastest-growing religion in Europe. Driven by immigration and high birth rates, the number of Muslims on the continent has tripled in the last 30 years. Most demographers forecast a similar or even higher rate of growth in the coming decades.

If current trends continue 79 countries will have a million or more Muslim inhabitants in 2030, up from 72 countries in 2011.

In 2011 statistics tell us that 74.1% of the world’s Muslims live in the 49 countries in which Muslims make up a majority of the population. More than a fifth of all Muslims (23.3%) live in non-Muslim-majority countries in the developing world. These minority Muslim populations are often quite large. 

In Europe as a whole, the Muslim share of the population is expected to grow by nearly one-third over the next 20 years, rising from 6% of the region’s inhabitants in 2010 to 8% in 2030.

In absolute numbers, Europe’s Muslim population is projected to grow from 44.1 million in 2010 to 58.2 million in 2030. Nearly three-in-ten people living in the Asia-Pacific region in 2030 (27.3%) will be Muslim, up from about a quarter in 2010 (24.8%) and roughly a fifth in 1990 (21.6%). Muslims make up only about 2% of the population in China, but because the country is so populous, its Muslim population is expected to be the 19th largest in the world in 2030.

In Germany, the estimated 4,000 converts each year, can be compared with an annual average of 300 in the late 1990s, still, less than 1 percent of Germany’s 3.3 million Muslims are converts. 

A report by France’s domestic intelligence agency, published by Le Figaro, estimated that there were 30,000 to 50,000 converts in France. The bulk of French Muslims are French citizens, and Islam is France’s second highest ranked religion.

Muslims are a minority in the United Kingdom, making up 2.7 per cent of the country's total population of some 60 million people. The number of converts to Islam is, as expected very difficult to either predict or find hard data about. One British newspaper however, the Independent, reports that the number of Britons converting to Islam has nearly doubled in the past decade, despite the fact that the UK has witnessed a rise in Islamophobia. This is according to a comprehensive study by inter-faith think tank Faith Matters.

Previous estimates have placed the number of Muslim converts in the UK at between 14,000 and 25,000, but this study suggests that the real figure could be as high as 100,000, with as many as 5,000 new conversions each year. By using data from the Scottish 2001 census - the only survey to ask respondents what their religion was at birth as well as at the time of the survey - researchers broke down what proportion of Muslim converts there were and then extrapolated the figures for Britain as a whole.


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