Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Europe's Muslim population to grow strongly

Europe's Muslim population to grow strongly Europe's Muslim population to grow strongly
Faye Gross | 01 December, 2017, 06:02

"This is because Muslims are younger (by 13 years) on average, and have higher fertility (one child more per woman) on average, than other Europeans", the study concluded. The number of Muslim migrants arriving in Europe surged after 2014 to nearly a half-million annually, largely the result of people fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Under that scenario Muslims would account for 14 percent of Europe's population in 2050, which Pew said was "still considerably smaller than the populations of both Christians and people with no religion".

The number of Muslims in Europe is projected to rise from just over 25 million in 2016, to between 35 million and 75 million by 2050.

In 2016 France and Germany had the highest number of Muslims in Europe, but the research centre says the United Kingdom would surpass them by 2050 in a "medium" migration scenario due to its high intake of "regular" Muslim migrants.

Under a medium scenario, which assumes the flow of refugees stopped in mid-2016 but "regular" migration continued, Europe's Muslim population would reach 11.2 percent (57.9 million).

The countries covered in the study included the 28 European Union members, plus Norway and Switzerland.

Europe's Muslim population to grow strongly PARIS: Muslims could make up over 11 percent of Europe's population in the coming decades, compared with just under 5 percent now, if legal migration levels are maintained, a report by a US-based think tank said on Thursday.

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Under a first, "zero migration" scenario, the Muslim population of Europe still would be expected to rise from the current level of 4.9 percent to 7.4 percent (roughly 36 million) by the year 2050 even "if all migration into Europe were to immediately and permanently stop".

Under the medium migration scenario, Muslims could account for 11.2 percent of Europe's population by 2050.

Europe received more than one million migrants and refugees in 2015, according to figures from the UN's refugee agency.

Although smaller European countries are expected to see Muslim populations grow significantly, others - including large nations like Poland - are projected to continue to have very few Muslims in 2050, in all scenarios. In this context, the Pew study provides much-needed data to demonstrate that the fear of a Muslim takeover is based on little more than myth.

Not all countries would be affected evenly by future immigration, according to the Pew report. Sweden would experience an even greater impact: its Muslim population could increase to over 30 percent, from eight percent in 2016 (a five-fold increase in terms of the number of migrants). Also the Swiss census from 2000 showed that the birth rate among integrated Muslims had fallen.

Interestingly, researchers noted that while Europe's Muslim population is diverse, comprising Muslims born in Europe and in non-European countries, its self-identification still plays a role.

Using the high scenario, Germany would have the largest Muslim population, 17.5 million, because of the large number of refugees it has accepted in recent years. The continent's Muslim population has grown by over 20%, or 6.3 million people, since 2010.

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