Muslims will make up quarter of the world’s population by 2030, study predicts

Researchers at the forum predict an annual growth rate of 1.5% for Muslims, compared with 0.7% for non-Muslims over the next 20 years.

According to study, ‘The Future of the Global Muslim Population’ study, the number of Muslims will increase from 1.6 billion, or 23.4%, of the world population today to 2.2 billion, or 26.4%, by 2030.

The study anticipates that the majority of the Muslim population – around 60% - will continue to live in the Asia-Pacific region, although the increasingly radical Pakistan is expected to surpass Indonesia as the country with the single largest Muslim population.

In Europe and the US, Muslims will remain a minority but constitute a growing share of the total population, with the number of Muslims passing the 10% mark in several European countries.

The number of Muslims in the US is expected to more than double from 2.6 million, or 0.8%, of the total population in 2010 to 6.2 million, or 1.7%, in 2030 – making them roughly the same in size as the US’s current Jewish or Episcopalian communities and more numerous than in any European state except Russia and France.

Muslims in Europe are expected to grow by nearly a third in the next two decades, from 6% of the region’s population to 8% in 2030.

In the UK, the number of Muslims will rise from 4.6% of the population to 8.2%, while in France, the number of Muslims will rise from 7.5% today to 10.3%. Russia will continue to have the largest Muslim population in absolute numbers in Europe in 2030, with an expected rise from 16.4 million today to 18.6 million.

The projections are based on projected fertility, mortality and migration rates. Muslims worldwide have a higher fertility rate than non-Muslims and improved health and economic conditions in Muslim-majority countries have led to a decrease in child mortality rates.

The forum noted that the projections could change according to changes in immigration laws, economic conditions, natural disasters and other factors.

“Changes in the political climate in the United States or European nations, for example could dramatically affect the patters of Muslim migration,” the forum said.

Lifestyle