New Pew Forum Report Projects Global Muslim Population to Increase Approximately 35% in Next 20 Years

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    But Rate of Growth Expected at Slower Pace than Past Two Decades

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The world's Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35% in the next 20 years, rising from 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.2 billion by 2030, according to a new, comprehensive report released today by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life on the size, distribution and growth of the Muslim population. The study is part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, an effort funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation to analyze religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

Over the next two decades, the worldwide Muslim population is forecast to grow at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population - an average annual growth rate of 1.5% for Muslims compared with 0.7% for non-Muslims. If current trends continue, Muslims will make up 26.4% of the world's total projected population of 8.3 billion in 2030, up from 23.4% of the estimated 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.

However, while the global Muslim population is predicted to grow at a faster rate than the non-Muslim population, it is also expected to grow at a slower pace in the next 20 years than it did in the previous two decades. From 1990 to 2010, the global Muslim population increased at an average annual rate of 2.2%; for the period from 2010 to 2030, the rate of growth is projected to be 1.5%.

These are among the key findings of The Future of the Global Muslim Population, which seeks to provide up-to-date estimates of the number of Muslims around the world in 2010 and to project the growth of the Muslim population from 2010 to 2030.

The full report, which includes an executive summary, interactive maps and sortable data tables, is available on the Pew Forum's website.

The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life conducts surveys, demographic analyses and other social science research on important aspects of religion and public life in the U.S. and around the world. As part of the Washington-based Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan, nonadvocacy organization, the Pew Forum does not take positions on any of the issues it covers or on policy debates.

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SOURCE Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion

For further information: Mary Schultz, +1-202-419-4556 Web Site: http://www.pewforum.org

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