Many people in North America consider Islam to be primarily a Middle Eastern religion. That may be because news reports most often involve events from that area. However, most Muslims actually live in the Asia-Pacific region. Indonesia has the largest population of Muslims of any country in the world.
The Pew Research's worldwide estimate of Muslims during 2013 included:
As of 2016-JAN, we assume that the Pew Forum's most recent worldwide estimates of 1.6 billion as the most reliable. With that number, Muslims represent about 22% of the world's population. They are currently the second largest religion in the world. Only Christianity is larger at 33%, with slightly more than 2 billion adherents.
The number of Muslims is growing about 2.9% per year, worldwide. This is faster than the total world population itself which is increasing by about 2.3% annually. Islam is thus attracting a progressively larger percentage of the world's population, and appears to be the fastest growing major religion in the world. If these rates continue, Islam will become the largest religion in the world by the middle of this century.
Attempting to estimate the number of Muslims in the U.S.:
Nobody knows precisely how many Muslims live in the United States. With the recent rise:
many Muslims in the U.S. are reluctant to share their religion with anonymous telephone callers, including callers from polling agencies.
Estimating numbers of religious adherents is a political hot-potato. Some non-Muslims have accused Muslims of exaggerated their numbers in order to obtain more political clout. Some Muslims have accused non-Muslims of releasing false, low numbers in order to "marginalize" Islam. 3 In religion, as in war, truth is often the first casualty.
Another cause of the disagreement appears to be related to the percentage of Muslim immigrants:
As a result, recent estimates of the number of Muslims in North America have ranged from a little over one million adults to seven million adults and children.
Ethnic origins of Muslims in the U.S.:
According to the "Faith Communities Today" report, by the Hartford Institute for Religious Research, the ethnic origins of regular participants in U.S. mosques are as follows:
This topic continues in the next essay
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