Thursday, October 8, 2009

Muslim Population in the world

Nearly 1 in 4 people worldwide is Muslim, report says
By Richard Allen Greene CNN

There are about 1.57 billion Muslims in the world, according to the report

Report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Nearly 2 out of 3 of world's Muslims are in Asia, report says, roughly 9 of 10 Muslims worldwide are Sunni, report says (CNN) -- Nearly one in four people worldwide is Muslim -- and they are not necessarily where you might think, according to an extensive new study that aims to map the global Muslim population.

India, a majority-Hindu country, has more Muslims than any country except for Indonesia and Pakistan, and more than twice as many as Egypt.

China has more Muslims than Syria.

Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon.

And Russia has more Muslims than Jordan and Libya put together.

Nearly two out of three of the world's Muslims are in Asia, stretching from Turkey to Indonesia.

The Middle East and north Africa, which together are home to about one in five of the world's Muslims, trail a very distant second.

There are about 1.57 billion Muslims in the world, according to the report, "Mapping the Global Muslim Population," by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. That represents about 23 percent of the total global population of 6.8 billion.

There are about 2.25 billion Christians, based on projections from the 2005 World Religions Database.

Brian Grim, the senior researcher on the Pew Forum project, was slightly surprised at the number of Muslims in the world, he told CNN.

"Overall, the number is higher than I expected," he said, noting that earlier estimates of the global Muslim population have ranged from 1 billion to 1.8 billion.

The report can -- and should -- have implications for United States policy, said Reza Aslan, the best-selling Iranian-American author of "No God but God."

Fact Box
Report: Top 10 Muslim countries, by population

1. Indonesia: 202,867,000 (country is 88.2 percent Muslim)

2. Pakistan: 174,082,000 (country is 96.3 percent Muslim)

3. India: 160,945,000 (country is 13.4 percent Muslim)

4. Bangaldesh: 145,312,000 (country is 89.6 percent Muslim)

5. Egypt: 78,513,000 (country is 94.6 percent Muslim)

6. Nigeria: 78,056,000 (country is 50.4 percent Muslim)

7. Iran: 73,777,000 (country is 99.4 percent Muslim)

8. Turkey: 73,619,000 (country is about 98 percent Muslim)

9. Algeria: 34,199,000 (country is 98 percent Muslim)

10. Morocco: 31,993,000 (country is about 99 percent Muslim)

Source: "Mapping the Global Muslim Population," The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
"Increasingly, the people of the Middle East are making up a smaller and smaller percentage of the worldwide Muslim community," he told CNN by phone.

"When it comes to issues of outreach to the Muslim world, these numbers will indicate that outreach cannot be focused so narrowly on the Middle East," he said.

"If the goal is to create better understanding between the United States and the Muslim world, our focus should be on south and southeast Asia, not the Middle East," he said.

He spoke to CNN before the report was published and without having seen its contents, but was familiar with the general trends the report identified.

The team at the Pew Forum spent nearly three years analyzing "the best available data" from 232 countries and territories, Grim said.

Their aim was to get the most comprehensive snapshot ever assembled of the world's Muslim population at a given moment in time.

So they took the data they gathered from national censuses and surveys, and projected it forward based on what they knew about population growth in each country.

They describe the resulting report as "the largest project of its kind to date."

It's full of details that even the researchers found surprising.

"There are these countries that we don't think of as Muslim at all, and yet they have very sizable numbers of Muslims," said Alan Cooperman, the associate director of research for the Pew Forum, naming India, Russia and China.

One in five of the world's Muslims lives in a country where Muslims are a minority.

And while most people think of the Muslim population of Europe is being composed of immigrants, that's only true in western Europe, Cooperman said.

"In the rest of Europe -- Russia, Albania, Kosovo, those places -- Muslims are an indigenous population," he said. "More than half of the Muslims in Europe are indigenous."

The researchers also were surprised to find the Muslim population of sub-Saharan Africa to be as low as they concluded, Cooperman said.

It has only about 240 million Muslims -- about 15 percent of all the world's Muslims.

Islam is thought to be growing fast in the region, with countries such as Nigeria, which has large populations of both Christians and Muslims, seeing violence between the two groups.

The Pew researchers concluded that Nigeria is just over half Muslim, making it the sixth most populous Muslim country in the world.

Roughly nine out of 10 Muslims worldwide are Sunni, and about one in 10 is Shiite, they estimated.

They warned they were less confident of those numbers than of the general population figures because sectarian data is harder to come by.

Only one or two censuses in the world ... have ever asked the sectarian question," said Grim.
"Among Muslims it's a very sensitive question. If asked, large numbers will say I am just a Muslim -- not that they don't know, but it is a sensitive question in many places," he said.

One in three of the world's Shiite Muslims lives in Iran, which is one of only four countries with a Shiite majority, he said. The others are Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain.

Huge as the project of mapping the world's Muslim population is, it is only the first step in a Pew Forum undertaking.

Next year, the think tank intends to release a report projecting Muslim population growth into the future, and then the researchers intend to do the whole thing over again with Christians, followed by other faith groups.

"We don't care only about Muslims," Grim said.

They're also digging into what people believe and practice, since the current analysis doesn't analyze that.

"This is no way reflects the religiosity of people, only their self-identification," Grim said. "We're trying to get the overall picture of religion in the world."

1 comment:

  1. Great post with nice details. I really appreciate you for sharing this valuable information with us. Thanks. world population



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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.