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Thursday, 19 January 2012

Pakistan to be most populous Muslim nation by ’30: Study

The world’s Muslim population is expected to reach 2.2 billion in 2030 from 1.6 billion in 2010, with Pakistan becoming the most populous Muslim nation, says a study.


Under current projections, a majority of the world’s Muslims — about 60 per cent —  will continue to live in the Asia-Pacific region, says the study by the Washington-based Pew Research Centre. “But Pakistan is expected to surpass Indonesia as the country with the single largest Muslim population” with a population of about 256 million in 2030 from current 178 million.


Pakistan used to be the largest Muslim nation till 1971, when its majority province — East Pakistan — became an independent nation of Bangladesh. Indonesia is projected to have 238.8 million Muslims in 2030, with India a close third with 236.18 million and Bangladesh fourth with a projected 187.5 million.


In the United States, the Muslims will more than double in the next 20 years — from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030. Europe’s Muslim population will grow from 44.1 million in 2010 to 58.2 million in 2030.


Muslim populations in some parts of Europe will reach the double digits, with France and Belgium at 10.3 per cent by 2030. In Britain, Muslims will account for 8.2 per cent of the population in 2030, up from an estimated 4.6 per cent today.


The top countries of origin for Muslim immigrants to the US in 2009 were Pakistan and Bangladesh. They are expected to remain the top countries of origin for Muslim immigrants to the US in 2030. The number of Muslims in Canada will nearly triple, from about 940,000 in 2010 to nearly 2.7 million in 2030.


Argentina will have the third-largest Muslim population in the Americas, after the US and Canada. Argentina, with about one million Muslims in 2010, is now in second place, behind the US.


Globally, the Muslims will grow at about twice the rate for the non-Muslims — an average annual growth rate of 1.5 per cent, compared with 0.7 per cent for non-Muslims. If current trends continue, Muslims will make up 26.4 per cent of the world’s total projected population of 8.3 billion in 2030, up from 23.4 per cent of the estimated 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.


Muslim-majority countries, however, are not the only ones with aging populations. As birth rates drop and people live longer all around the globe, the population of the entire world is aging.

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