The world’s Muslim population will grow twice as fast as non-Muslims over the next 20 years according to a new study, which predicted that Muslims within a generation will make up more than a quarter of the global population.
Using fertility, mortality and migration rates, researchers at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life project a 1.5-per cent annual population growth rate for the world’s Muslims over the next two decades, and just 0.7 per cent growth each year for non-Muslims.
The study, called “The Future of the Global Muslim Population,” projects that in 2030 Muslims will make up 26.4 per cent of the world&£8217; s population, which is expected to total around 8.3 billion people by then.
That marks a three-percentage-point rise from the 23.4-per cent share held by Muslims of the globe’s estimated 6.9 billion people today, the study says.
More than six in 10 followers of Islam will live in the Asia-Pacific region in 2030, and nuclear Pakistan, which has seen a rise in radical Islam in recent months, will overtake Indonesia as the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
In Africa, the Muslim population of the sub-Saharan country of Nigeria will be greater than that of Egypt in 20 years, the study projects.
In Europe, Pew predicts the Muslim population will grow by nearly a third in 20 years, from 44.1 million people, or six per cent of the region’s inhabitants in 2010, to 58.2 million or eight per cent of the projected total population by 2030.
Some European Union (EU) countries will see double-digit percentages of Muslims in their population by 2030: Belgium’s Muslim population is projected to rise from six per cent to 10.2 per cent over the next 20 years, while France’s is expected to hit 10.3 per cent in 2030, up from 7.5 per cent today.