Study finds Islam on track to overtake Christianity as world’s largest religious group

Islam is currently the world’s fastest growing religion and Muslims could exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century.

Muslims made up 23 percent of the world’s population, with 1.6 billion, according to a 2010 Pew Center estimate. But that number is expected to increase by 73 percent to 2.8 billion in 2050, according to a recent Pew Research Center report.

Muslims are expected to grow more than twice as fast as world population between 2010 and 2050 and will be almost as numerous as Christians by 2050.

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Image: Pew Research Center

The growth is due to the larger number of children Muslims have compared to the other major religions and the younger median age of Muslims.

The Middle East-North Africa region is home to only about 20 percent of the world’s Muslims while 62 percent are found in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Pew report.

And while Indonesia currently has the largest number of Muslims of any country, Pew Research Center projects that by 2050, India will take that distinction with more than 300 million Muslims.

In Europe, where the Muslim population is also growing, it is projected that Muslims will make up 10 percent of Europe’s population by 2050.

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In the United States, Muslims account for one percent of the population, with 3.3 million, according to a 2015 Pew estimate. Muslims are projected to make up 2.1 percent of the U.S. population by 2050, surpassing those of the Jewish faith as the second-largest faith group in the country.

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Frieda Powers


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