5 facts about the Muslim population in Europe


Muslims are a relatively small minority in Europe, representing approximately 5% of the population. However, in some countries, such as France and Sweden, the Muslim part of the population is higher. And, in the coming decades, it is expected that the Muslim part of the continent's population will grow, and could more than double, according to the projections of the Pew Research Center.

These demographic changes have already provoked political and social upheaval in many European countries, especially as a result of the recent arrival of millions of asylum seekers, many of whom are Muslims. In recent national elections in France and Germany, for example, immigration, and particularly Muslim immigration, were the main problems.

Using the most recent population estimates from the Pew Research Center, here are five facts about the size and composition of the Muslim population in Europe:

1 France and Germany have the Muslim population more largest in Europe (defined as the 28 current member countries of the European Union plus Norway and Switzerland) . By mid-2016, there were 5.7 million Muslims in France (8.8% of the country's population) and 5 million Muslims in Germany (6.1%). The EU country where Muslims make up the majority of the population is Cyprus: the 300,000 Muslims in the island country make up about a quarter (25.4%) of its population, and are mostly Turkish Cypriots with deep roots in Cyprus (and not recent migrants).


The Muslim part of the total population of Europe has been steadily increasing and will continue to grow in the coming decades . From mid-2010 to mid-2016, the proportion of Muslims in Europe increased by more than 1 percentage point, from 3.8% to 4.9% (from 19.5 million to 25.8 million). By 2050, the participation of the continent's Muslim population could more than double, rising to 11.2% or more, depending on the amount of migration allowed in Europe. Even in the unlikely event that future migration will be permanently halted, the Muslim population would still amount to an estimated 7.4%, due to the relative youth and high fertility rates of the current Muslim residents of Europe.

3 Muslims are much younger and have more children than other Europeans . In 2016, the average age of Muslims in Europe was 30.4, 13 years younger than the median age for other Europeans (43.8). Put another way, 50% of all European Muslims are under 30, compared to 32% of non-Muslims in Europe. In addition, the average Muslim woman in Europe is expected to have 2.6 children, one full child more than the average non-Muslim woman (1.6 children).

4 Between mid-2010 and mid-2016, migration was the main factor driving the growth of Muslim populations in Europe. An estimated 2.5 million Muslims came to Europe for reasons other than seeking asylum, such as employment or going to school. Approximately 1.3 million more Muslims received (or are expected to receive) refugee status, which allows them to remain in Europe. It is estimated that 250,000 Muslims left the region during this period.

Natural growth was the secondary driver: among European Muslims, there were 2.9 million births more than deaths during this period. It is estimated that religious change is a small factor in the change of the Muslim population, with approximately 160,000 more people moving away from Islam than converting to the faith during this period.

5 Opinions of Muslims vary widely in European countries . A survey of the Pew Research Center 2016 conducted in 10 nations discovered that negative opinions about Muslims prevailed in Eastern and Southern Europe . However, the majority of respondents in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden and the Netherlands gave Muslims a favorable rating. Opinions on Muslims are linked to ideology. While 47% of Germans on the political right give Muslims an unfavorable rating, only 17% of the left do so. The gap between the left and the right is also about 30 percentage points in Italy and Greece.

Note: This is an update of a publication originally published on January 15, 2015.

Category: 5 Facts

Subjects: Europe, Religious Affiliation, Muslim and Islam, Migration [19659018] [ad_2]
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