Projections: Islam will overtake Christianity as the world’s largest religion by 2070

The Pew Research Centre analysed demographic changes in major world religions and found the population of people describing themselves as Muslim will grow by 73 per cent between 2010 and 2050, compared with 35 per cent for Christians, the next fastest-growing faith. “Supposing that current trends are confirmed.” So that will be the Planetary status quo – unless there is any ‘black swan‘ to break the cards, namely “wars, famines, plagues, technological innovations or political upheavals.”

In 2010 the world had 1.6 billion Muslims and 2.17 billion Christians, the Pew report said. By 2050, there would be 2.76 billion Muslims and 2.92 billion Christians. If both religions continued to grow at those rates, Islam would have more followers than Christianity by 2070.

Indonesia is the country with the largest Muslim population but Pew predicted that by 2050 it would be overtaken by India, which would have more than 300 million Muslims, though Hindus would remain the majority.

Islam has the youngest following among major religions with a median age of 23 in 2010, seven years younger than non-Muslims.

This means that a larger share of Muslims are, or soon will be, at the age when they begin to have children. They also have more children than members of other religious groups. Globally, each Muslim woman has an average of 3.1 children, compared with 2.3 on average for the other groups. Thirty four per cent of Muslims are under 15, meaning they have more childbirth years remaining. Although a growing number of people describe themselves as atheist, agnostic and non-religious in Europe and North America, the report predicts they will decline as a proportion globally, from 16.4 per cent to 13.2 per cent by 2050, because of high fertility rates feeding growth among those describing themselves as Muslim.

Christianity is likely to be slowed as followers join other religions or become non-religious. About 40 million people are expected to move into Christianity globally, while 106 million will leave.

The centre also said, based on a survey last year, that more people in eastern and southern Europe have an unfavourable view of Muslims compared with northern and western Europe. The majority in Hungary, Italy, Poland and Greece viewed Muslims unfavourably, an attitude far less common in France, Germany and Britain.

People who considered themselves on the right politically were much more likely to see Muslims negatively.

A recent research found Islam to be growing faster than the world’s population, tagged to be the largest religion in the world by 2070.

Analysing demographic changes in the world’s major religions, Pew Research Centre found Muslim population to grow by 73 per cent between 2010 and 2050, with Christians being the second-largest religious population at 35 per cent while the world’s population to increase by 37 per cent during the same time. The report predicts Atheists, agnostics and non-religious to decrease from 16.4 per cent to 13.2 per cent by 2050.

The report estimates that by 2050, there will be 2.76 billion Muslims and 2.92 billion Christians. Assuming that the findings stay on course, Muslims will outnumber Christians by 2070.

The survey further adds that Europe’s population in 2070 will have 10 per cent Muslims, also highlighting the attitude of Europeans towards Muslims.

“Majorities in Hungary, Italy, Poland and Greece say they view Muslims unfavorably, while negative attitudes toward Muslims are much less common in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Northern and Western Europe,” the report reads. “People who place themselves on the Right side of the ideological scale are much more likely than those on the Left to see Muslims negatively.”

The research cites fertility as one of the major reasons behind the demographic change, placing Muslims with the highest rate of reproduction at 3.1 children per woman followed by Christians at 2.7.

Another reason is people moving away from Christianity as the report predicts around 40 million Christians to convert while another 106 million to become non-religious.

Its research revealed that on average women in Muslim-majority nations have 3.1 children whereas females of other faiths produce 2.3 offspring.

The UK was also found to be the country most tolerant of Islam in Europe.

Around 28 per cent of Brits were found to have a negative view of Muslims – the lowest on the continent.

The study found 72 per cent of Hungarians and 69 per cent of Italians held unfavourable views.



Pew Research Center

The Australian

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