American Muslim population expected to double by 2030

Chris Moody Contributor

The American Muslim population will more than double to 6.2 million over the next two decades, according to new estimates from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Attributed largely to immigration and higher fertility rates, the increase will bump the percentage of American Muslims to 1.7 percent of the population by 2030, placing the group at about the same size as American Jews and Episcopalians. If trends continue, by 2030 the United States will have a higher Muslim population than any European country other than Russia and France.

The estimates for the United States are similar to global Muslim population trends, which are expected to rise by about 30 percent over the same time period.

Despite those forecasted increases, Muslim population growth is slowing worldwide compared to the last 20 years.

“The declining growth rate is due primarily to falling fertility rates in many Muslim-majority countries, including such populous nations as Indonesia and Bangladesh,” the report said. “Fertility is dropping as more women in these countries obtain a secondary education, living standards rise and people move from rural areas to cities and towns.”

However, the report noted that North and South America are the only regions where Muslim population growth is expected to continue at a steady rate.

E-mail Chris Moody and follow him on Twitter