There May Be More Muslims than Christians in the World by 2050

The Muslim population is young and growing, and could surpass the number of Christians in the world by 2050.

Pew Research stated, “Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they know little or nothing about Islam.”

In 2010, there were 1.6 billion Muslims, which is “roughly 23% of the global population,” but in 2050 it is projected Muslims will make up 30% of the global population in 2050. Christianity is still currently the fastest growing religious, but current trends show growth of Muslims could increase and surpass Christians.

Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research at Pew said, “Another way of thinking about it is Christianity had a seven-century head-start on Islam, and Islam is finally catching up.”

NPR interviewed Cooperman and explained, “This growth has to do with the relatively young age of the Muslim population as well as high fertility rates. Other religious groups have aging populations. Among Buddhists, for example, half of adherents are older than 30 and​ the average birth rate is 1.6 children. By contrast, in 2010, a third of the Muslim population was under 15. What’s more, each Muslim woman has an average of 3.1 children, while the average for Christian women is 2.7.”

Pew Research said currently Indonesia has the largest number of Muslims, but in 2050 India will be home to the largest population of Muslims. Also, “The Muslim population in Europe also is growing; we project 10% of all Europeans will be Muslims by 2050.”

In the United States, Muslims make up just 0.9% of the population and in 2050 it is projected Muslims will then make up 2.1% of the population.

The research revealed how “Muslims feel about groups like ISIS,” stating “most people in several countries with significant Muslim populations have an unfavorable view of ISIS.” Pew wrote, “In many cases, people in countries with large Muslim populations are as concerned as Western nations about the threat of Islamic extremism, and have become increasingly concerned in recent years.”

In a “2011 survey of Muslim Americans found that roughly half of U.S. Muslims (48%) say their own religious leaders have not done enough to speak out against Islamic extremists,” stated Pew.

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Esther Laurie
Esther Laurie is a staff writer at ChurchLeaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.

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