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Published: Fri, March 03, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

India set to become country with largest Muslim population by 2050


While Islam is currently the world's second-largest religion after Christianity, it is now also the fastest-growing major religion. Migration will create a surge in the Muslim population of north Europe and North America, it said.

India will overtake Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population in the world by 2050, claims a study by the Washington DC-based Pew Research Center. Projections say in a little more than 30 years, 10% of all Europeans will be Muslims.

One of the key areas of growth will be in India, which has the world's fastest growing Muslim population.

In 2010, there were 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and if the current demographic trends continue, the Muslim population is expected to exceed the number of Christians by the end of this century.

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In the USA, according to Pew, "Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say they are very concerned about extremism in the name of Islam around the world, 67 percent versus 40 percent, and in the US 64 percent versus 30 percent".

There were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims at the same date. When Americans were asked to rate their perception of nine religious groups, from 0 (negative) to 100 (positive), they gave Muslims an average of 48, which is slightly lower than the rating they gave to atheists (50). Muslims have the highest, at 3.1 children per woman, followed by Christians, at 2.7. 34 per cent are aged under 15, compared to a global average of 27 per cent.

A Pew survey released in 2011 noted: "A median of 50 percent [of respondents] across four Western European countries, the US and Russian Federation called Muslims violent and a median of 58 percent called them 'fanatical, ' but fewer used negative words like greedy, immoral or selfish".

'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'. Currently, Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population.

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