Muslim population growth

Muslim population growth

Muslim population growth refers to the topic of population growth of the global Muslim community. In 2006, countries with a Muslim majority had an average population growth rate of 1.8% per year (when weighted by percentage Muslim and population size).[1] This compares with a world population growth rate of 1.12% per year.[2] As of 2011, it is predicted that the world's Muslim population will grow twice as fast as non-Muslims over the next 20 years. By 2030, Muslims will make up more than a quarter of the global population.[3][4]


Islamic view of population growth

The Quran does not make any explicit statements about the morality of contraception, but contains statements encouraging procreation. Prophet Muhammad also is reported to have said "marry and procreate". However, marriage and reproduction is not a required principle for Muslims.[5]

Coitus interruptus, a primitive form of birth control, was a known practice at the time of Prophet Muhammad, and his companions engaged in it. Prophet Muhammad knew about this, but did not prohibit it. Umar and Ali, the second and fourth of the Rashidun caliphs, respectively, defended the practice.[5]

Muslims scholars have extended the example of coitus interruptus, by analogy, to declaring permissible other forms of contraception, subject to three conditions:[5][6]

  1. As offspring are the right of both the husband and the wife, the birth control method should be used with both parties' consent.
  2. The method should not cause permanent sterility.
  3. The method should not otherwise harm the body.

In Asia

In India

Muslims in India have a much higher total fertility rate (TFR) compared to that of other religious communities in the country.[7] Because of higher birthrates and an influx of migrants from neighboring Bangladesh, the percentage of Muslims in India has risen from about 8% in 1951 to 13.6% in 2001.[8] The Muslim population growth rate is higher by more than 10% of the total growth compared to that of Hindus.[9] Muslim percentage is expected to grow from 14.6% in 2010 to 15.9% in 2030.[4]

Hindus had their population growing by 20.3 per cent between 1991 and 2001, where as Muslim population grew by 36 per cent in 1991-2001.[10]

Demographers have put forward several factors behind high birthrates among Muslims in India. According to sociologists Roger and Patricia Jeffery, socio-economic conditions rather than religious determinism is the main reason for higher Muslim birthrates. Indian Muslims are poorer and less educated compared to their Hindu counterparts.[11] However, other sociologists point out that religious factors can explain high Muslim birthrates. Surveys indicate that Muslims in India have been relatively less willing to adopt family planning measures and that Muslim girls get married at a much younger age compared to Hindu girls.[12] According to Paul Kurtz, Muslims in India are much more resistant to modern contraceptive measures compared to Hindus and as a consequence, the decline in fertility rate among Hindu women is much higher compared to that of Muslim women.[13][7]

According to a high level committee appointed by the Prime Minister of India in 2006, by the end of the 21st century India's Muslim population will reach 320 to 340 million people (or 18% of India's total projected population).[14] Swapan Dasgupta, a prominent Indian journalist, has raised concerns that the higher Muslim population growth rate in India could adversely effect the country's social harmony.[15]

In Europe

Data for the rates of growth of Islam in Europe reveal that the growing number of Muslims is due primarily to immigration (in the West) and higher birth rates (worldwide).[16]

In World

  • According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the World Christian Database as of 2007 estimated the six fastest-growing religions of the world to be Islam (1.84%), the Bahá'í Faith (1.7%), Sikhism (1.62%), Jainism (1.57%), Hinduism (1.52%), and Christianity (1.32%). High birth rates were cited as the reason for the growth.[17]
  • Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiles the Vatican's yearbook, said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano that "For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us". He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population—a stable percentage—while Muslims were at 19.2 percent. "It is true that while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer," the monsignor said.[18]


Conversion rates had a significant increase in the North America after the 9/11 attacks, which most likely caused more Americans to study Islam in depth.[19][20] According to the New York Times, 25% of American Muslims are converts to Islam.[21] In Britain, around 10,000 – 20,000 people convert to Islam per year.<<Proper citation needed|October 2011>> [22]

See also


  1. ^ Averaging of individual country figures from CIA factbook see also Demographics of Islam
  2. ^ CIA Factbook
  3. ^ Yahoo! news[dead link]
  4. ^ a b The Future of the Global Muslim Population
  5. ^ a b c Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Muhammad Saleh Al-Munajjid. "Contraception: Permissible?," IslamOnline.
  6. ^ Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid. Question #1219. Islam Q&A. Accessed April 2006.
  7. ^ a b Guilmoto, Christophe. Fertility transition in south India. SAGE, 2005. ISBN 0761932925, 9780761932925. 
  8. ^ India’s Muslim Population by Carin Zissis for Council of Foreign Relations
  9. ^ "Census of India.". Census of India. Census Data 2001: India at a glance >> Religious Composition. Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  10. ^[unreliable source?] quoting a report based on 2001 census[verification needed]
  11. ^ Jeffery, Roger and Patricia Jeffery. Population, gender, and politics. Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN 0521466539, 9780521466530. 
  12. ^ Shakeel Ahmad. Muslim attitude towards family planning. Sarup & Sons, 2003. ISBN 8176253898, 9788176253895. 
  13. ^ Paul Kurtz. Multi-Secularism: A New Agenda. Transaction Publishers, 2010. ISBN 1412814197, 9781412814195. 
  14. ^ Muslim population could decline: Sachar report, Rediff News
  15. ^ India as an Ostrich, by Swapan Dasgupta, Rediff News
  16. ^ "site". BBC News. 2005-12-23. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  17. ^ Staff (May 2007). "The List: The World’s Fastest-Growing Religions". Foreign Policy (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace). 
  18. ^ "– Vatican: Islam Surpasses Roman Catholicism as World's Largest Religion – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News". 2008-03-30.,2933,343336,00.html. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  19. ^ A NATION CHALLENGED: AMERICAN MUSLIMS; Islam Attracts Converts By the Thousand, Drawn Before and After Attacks Accessed 2011-05-11
  20. ^ A Wave of Conversion to Islam in the U.S. Following September 11 Accessed 2011-01-21
  21. ^ Muslim Convert Faces Discrimination Accessed 2008-01-17
  22. ^ "Women Converts". British Muslims Monthly Survey. June 2000 Vol. VIII, No. 6. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 

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