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Muslim Birth Rate Drops

Friday, January 28th 2011 - 14:27 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Muslim is growing, but at a slower rate Muslim is growing, but at a slower rate

Decreasing birth rates will slow the world’s Muslim population growth over the next twenty years, reducing it from 2.2% a year in 1990-2010 period to 1.5% up until 2030 a new study says.

Muslims will number 2.2 billion by 2030 compared to 1.6 billion in 2010, making up 26.4 percent of the world population compared to 23.4 percent now, according to estimates by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

The report did not publish figures for worldwide populations of other major religions, but said the United States-based Pew Forum planned similar reports on growth prospects for worldwide Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism.

“The declining growth rate is due primarily to falling fertility rates in many Muslim-majority countries,” it said, noting the birth rate is falling as more Muslim women are educated, living standards rise and rural people move to cities.

“Globally, the Muslim population is forecast to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population over the next two decades -- an average annual growth rate of 1.5 percent for Muslims, compared with 0.7 percent for non-Muslims,” it said.

The report, entitled The Future of the Global Muslim Population, was part of a Pew Forum program analysing religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

Alan Cooperman, Pew Forum associate director for research, said the results refuted claims made by some critics of Muslim immigration that high birth rates would make Muslims the majority in Europe within a few decades.

Muslim minorities will grow to around 10 percent of the population in several European countries, he said, adding: “Those are substantial increases but they are very far from 'Eurabia' scenario of runaway growth.”

”The report said about 60 percent of the world's Muslims will live in the Asia-Pacific region in 2030, 20 percent in the Middle East, 17.6 percent in sub-Saharan Africa, 2.7 percent in Europe and 0.5 percent in the Americas.

Pakistan will overtake Indonesia as the world's most numerous Muslim nation by 2030, it said, while the Muslim minority in mostly Hindu India will retain its global rank as the third largest Muslim population.

Continued migration will swell the ranks of Europe's Muslim minorities by one-third by 2030, to 8 percent of the region's inhabitants from 6 percent, it said.

Muslims in France will rise to 6.9 million, or 10.3 percent of the population, from 4.7 million (7.5 percent), in Britain to 5.6 million (8.2 percent) from 2.9 million and in Germany to 5.5 million (7.1 percent) from 4.1 million (5 percent).

The Muslim share of the U.S. population will grow from 0.8 percent in 2010 to 1.7 percent in 2030, “making Muslims roughly as numerous as Jews or Episcopalians are in the United States today,” the study said.

By 2030, Muslims will number 2.1 million or 23.2 percent of the population in Israel -- including Jerusalem but not the West Bank and Gaza -- after 1.3 million (17.7 percent) in 2010.

The slowdown in Muslim population growth is most pronounced in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East-North Africa and Europe, and less sharp in sub-Saharan Africa,“ it said, while migration will accelerate it in the Americas through 2020.

While Muslim populations worldwide are still younger on average than others, ”the so-called “youth bulge” -- the high percentage of Muslims in their teens and 20s -- peaked around the year 2000 and is now declining,“ the study said.

Sunni Muslims will continue to make up the overwhelming majority in Islam -- about 87-90 percent, the report estimated -- while Shi'ite numbers may decline because of relatively low birth rates in Iran, where one-third of all Shi'ites live.

The study saw a close link between education and birth rates in Muslim-majority countries. Women in countries with the least education for girls had about five children while those where girls had the longest schooling averaged 2.3 children.

The study said it counted ”all groups and individuals who self-identify as Muslims,“ including secular or non-observant people, without measuring levels of religiosity.

It said measuring the impact of Islam on birth rates was difficult because ”cultural, social, economic, political, historical and other factors may play equal or greater roles.”


Categories: Politics, International.
Tags: Muslim.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • xbarilox

    ”By 2030, Muslims will number 2.1 million or 23.2 percent of the population in Israel -- including Jerusalem but not the West Bank and Gaza -- after 1.3 million (17.7 percent) in 2010.“ Was Abraham a Jew? Nope, he wasn't. What was he? As if Israel belonged to the Jews and Muslims were a race or an ethnicity and aliens in Israel.

    ”Muslim Birth Rate Drops“ What is that supposed to mean? Muslim is not even a race/ethnicity. How can you say that Muslim birth rate drops? You're so scared of Muslims, that's amusing haha. Is there a special category for ”Muslim babies”? Is a baby born a Muslim? My parents can be Muslims but that doesn't mean I'll be a Muslim baby! إن شاء الله

    Jan 28th, 2011 - 03:32 pm 0
  • GeoffWard

    The total fertility rate (TFR) of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if (1) she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates (ASFRs) through her lifetime, and (2) she were to survive from birth through the end of her reproductive life. It is obtained by summing the single-year age-specific rates at a given time.

    These top 20 ‘baby-producing nations’ each produce over twice the world average for all nations.
    Some are ‘Muslim countries’; most are not:
    Niger (7.75), Mali (7.29), Uganda (6.77), Afghanistan (6.53), Somalia(6.52), Burundi (6.33), Yemen (6.32), Burkina Faso (6.28), Congo(6.20), Angola (6.12), Ethiopia (6.12), Sierra Leone (5.88), Malawi (5.59), Benin (5.49), Chad (5.31), Rwanda (5.25), Guinea (5.18), Mozambique (5.18), Zambia (5.15).

    But most are African and most are very poor:
    GDP per Capita (PPP) average for these 20 countries is just $1,375, compared to the USA (PPP $46,900).

    Elimination of poverty will reduce TFR, experience of history shows.
    The Catch 22 is that high population density and low resource-base combined with low technology ‘causes’ more births.

    1. Lower the population by birth control,
    2. Allow it to lower by starvation, disease, emigration, etc.,
    3. Increase the resource-base, level of education, etc.,
    4. Introduce higher technology.

    Unfortunately, human populations always grow to just exceed available resources.
    There will always be poor in the world, but poor people in poor countries will always suffer most of all.

    Jan 29th, 2011 - 03:03 pm 0
  • Typhoon

    Using a tool known as “research”, it seems that muslims believe in “the Nation of Islam”. Their choice.

    But it's not their birth rate that concerns me. It's their mortality rate. That really needs to rise!

    Jan 30th, 2011 - 01:43 pm 0
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