While it does not change the global population, migration is helping to increase the Muslim population in some regions, including North America and Europe. Like any religious group, the religious beliefs and practices of Muslims vary depending on many factors, including where in the world they live.
But Muslims around the world are almost universally united by a belief in one God and the Prophet Muhammad, and the practice of certain religious rituals, such as fasting during Ramadan, is widespread. For instance, a Pew Research Center survey of Muslims in 39 countries asked Muslims whether they want sharia law, a legal code based on the Quran and other Islamic scripture, to be the official law of the land in their country. Nearly all Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and most in Iraq (91%) and Pakistan (84%) support sharia law as official law.
But in some other countries, especially in Eastern Europe and Central Asia – including Turkey (12%), Kazakhstan (10%) and Azerbaijan (8%) – relatively few favor the implementation of sharia law. Recent surveys show that most people in several countries with significant Muslim populations have an unfavorable view of ISIS, including virtually all respondents in Lebanon and 94% in Jordan.
Although many countries in the Middle East-North Africa region, where the religion originated in the seventh century, are heavily Muslim, the region is home to only about 20% of the world’s Muslims. A recent Pew Research Center report estimated that the Muslim share of immigrants granted permanent residency status (green cards) increased from about 5% in 1992 to roughly 10% in 2012, representing about 100,000 immigrants in that year. There are two major factors behind the rapid projected growth of Islam, and both involve simple demographics.
Indonesia is currently the country with the world’s single largest Muslim population, but Pew Research Center projects that India will have that distinction by the year 2050 (while remaining a majority Hindu country), with more than 300 million Muslims. Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study (conducted in English and Spanish) found that 0.9% of U. Around the world, each Muslim woman has an average of 3.1 children, compared with 2.3 for all other groups combined.
The Muslim population in Europe also is growing; we project 10% of all Europeans will be Muslims by 2050. According to our best estimate, Muslims make up just less than 1% of the U. Muslims are also the youngest (median age of 23 years old in 2010) of all major religious groups, seven years younger than the median age of non-Muslims.
As a result, a larger share of Muslims already are, or will soon be, at the point in their lives when they begin having children.
This, combined with high fertility rates, will fuel Muslim population growth.
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.