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06 Apr 2017

Muslim babies to outnumber Christian babies in 20 years

Christianity, as per 2015 data, is currently the world's largest religion with Christians making up over 31% of the world's population.

That, however, is about to change according to the Pew Research Centre.

In a study, the Pew Research Centre found that Muslim births would modestly outnumber babies born to Christians within 20 years' time.

In context

The world's population by religion

Global population growth and Muslim population growth

The world's population, which stood at 6.9 billion in 2010, will grow to 9.3 billion by 2050 - a 35% increase. In the same period, the Muslim population, which stood at 1.6 billion is estimated to increase by 73%.

Why are Muslim births exceeding Christian births?


Why are Muslim births exceeding Christian births?

Although Christians outnumber Muslims by a significant number, the projected difference in their population growths are due to demographic reasons.

The Christian population, owing to their relatively advanced age, have had a disproportionately large number of deaths in recent years.

The Muslim population, on the other hand, is a relatively younger population and thus have higher fertility rates as a whole.

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Muslim population growth vs Christian population growth

In the period between 2010-2015, Muslim births made up 31% of all births in the world, far exceeding the 24% Muslim share of the global population. In contrast, Christian births made up 33% of all births while having a 31% share of the global population.

Growth trends

Muslim birth rates will lead to a change in demography

Given this trend, it is expected that between 2030 to 2035, Muslims will give birth to 225 million babies as opposed to 224 million Christian births.

In the period 2055 to 2060, it is expected that Muslim births will stand at 232 million, thus exceeding the projected 226 million Christian births in the same period.

Estimated shares of world population in 2050

In 2060, it is estimated 31.8% of the world's population will be Christian, 31.1% will be Muslims, 14.5% will be Hindu, 12.5% will be unaffiliated, 4.8% will be Buddhist, 4.6% will be folk religions, 0.6% will be other religions, and 0.2% will be Jews.

India will have the maximum number of Muslims by 2050

Other notable findings

India will have the maximum number of Muslims by 2050

By 2050, Hindu and Jewish populations will also grow, and while India will retain its Hindu majority, it will also have the largest Muslim population in the world.

The Buddhist population is expected to remain the same as it was in 2010.

Meanwhile, atheists, agnostics, and other people not affiliated to any religion will see a decline in their populations.

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