Study says Islam set to become world's largest religion by 2035

Apr 07, 2017, 02:11
Study says Islam set to become world's largest religion by 2035

That's according to a new Pew Research study showing that deaths among Christians outnumbered births in Europe by nearly six million between 2010 and 2015.

Followers of Muslim community may also be the fastest growing religious groups in decades to come, The Telegraph has said quoting the report. Reports state that in the same period, around 33 percent of the world's babies were born to Christian mothers, the figure is only slightly more than their 31 percent share of the global population, the Guardian reported. If these calculations hold up, Muslims will comprise almost one-third (31 percent) of the world's population and be within one percentage point of the previously dominant Christian community. Pew cited the "advanced age of Christian populations in some places" as the cause, noting that in Europe "the number of deaths already is estimated to exceed the number of births among Christians".

The study projects that two decades later, between 2055 and 2060, around 36 percent of babies will be born to Muslim mothers and 35 percent to Christian women. This explains why the study expects the birth rate amongst the religiously affiliated to fall to 9% between 2055 and 2060. Globally, however, the effect of religious switching is overshadowed by the impact of differences in fertility and mortality. It draws on more than 2,500 population registers from around the world, as well as the expertise of dozens of religious scholars. In Germany, the UK, Italy, Russia and France, there were at least 250,000 more Muslim births than deaths in each country over the period.

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Among the religiously unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic, no particular religion) deaths outnumbered births by at least 10,000 in Austria, Ukraine and Russian Federation but this group saw either a natural increase in 19 countries or little change in 20 countries between 2010 or 2015. Adherents of folk religions, Jews and members of other religions make up smaller proportions of the world's people.

With an average of 2.9 children per woman, Muslims have the highest fertility rate of any religious group. "The number of Christians is projected to rise by 34 percent, slightly faster than the global population overall yet far more slowly than Muslims".

As a result, according to Pew Research Center projections, by 2060, Muslims will be 31 per cent of the population and Christians will be 32 per cent.

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That is set to change, owing to the relatively young age profile of Muslims and their higher fertility rates.

The study warns its forecasts are based upon current population trends and that events such as scientific discoveries, armed conflicts and changing economic conditions could change the numbers.

From 2015 until 2060, Pew expects Christians to increase from 31 percent of the world's population to just 32 percent.

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