Global Muslim population estimated at 1.57 billion

A young Indian Muslim breaks his fast during the month of Ramzan in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. India is home to the world's third largest Muslim population, and tops the list of countries with the largest number of Muslims living as a minority community. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf   | Photo Credit: Mohammed_Yousuf

An estimated 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages live in the world today, representing 23 per cent of the global population of 6.8 billion, according to a new study of more than 200 countries.

India is estimated to have the third largest Muslim population of over 160 million after Indonesia with more than 200 million and Pakistan with nearly 175 million.

“The new study is based on the best available data for 232 countries and territories,” said the Forum on Religion and Public Life, a unit of leading U.S.-based think tank Pew Research Centre, which conducted the study.

“Previously published estimates of the size of the global Muslim population have ranged widely from 1 billion to 1.8 billion,” said the centre, which analysed over 1,500 sources, including census reports, demographic studies and general population surveys.

The key findings of the study, released here late Wednesday, are:

India has the third-largest population of Muslims worldwide

China has more Muslims than Syria

Russia is home to more Muslims than Jordan and Libya combined

While Muslims are found on all five inhabited continents, more than 60 per cent of the global Muslim population is in Asia

Middle east and North Africa account for 20 per cent of the Muslim population

The Middle East-North Africa region has the highest percentage of Muslim-majority countries

More than half of the 20 countries and territories in Middle East-North Africa region have populations that are approximately 95 per cent Muslim or greater

More than 300 million Muslims, or one-fifth of the world’s Muslim population, live in countries where Islam is not the majority religion

These minority Muslim populations are often quite large

Of the total Muslim population, 10-13 per cent are Shias and 87-90 per cent are Sunnis Muslims.

Most Shias, between 68-80 percent, live in just four countries, namely Iran, Pakistan, India and Iraq

The new report has an executive summary, maps and charts to illustrate the geographic distribution of Muslims, explanations of the study’s methodologies and a list of data sources by country.

According to the study, Indonesia accounts for the largest number of Muslims with 202.87 million, or 88.2 per cent of the country’s population, followed by Pakistan with 174.08 million, or 96.3 per cent of the population.

India is home to 160.95 million, representing 13.4 per cent of the country’s population, or 10.3 per cent of their global numbers. India also tops the list of countries with the largest number of Muslims living in any country as a minority community.

Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey Algeria and Morocco, in that order, make up the 10 countries with the largest population of Muslims going by the sheer numbers.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 8:23:47 PM |

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