Pew maps the Muslim world

October 8, 2009

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life just released a demographic study of the Muslim world it says is “the largest project of its kind to date.” Click here to see the report “Mapping the Global Muslim Population: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Muslim Population.”


The report drew on data from 232 countries and territories and involved Pew researchers working with nearly 50 demographers and social scientists around the world. It is certainly a useful reference for anyone interested in the Islamic world.

(PHOTO: Hundreds of thousands of Muslims pray inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca Sept. 15, 2009. REUTERS/Susan Baahil)

Among its highlights:

– There are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages in the world today, about 23 percent of the global population of 6.8 billion. (By contrast, various estimates put the number of Christians worldwide at about two billion).

– Over 60 percent of Muslims live in Asia and one-fifth in the Middle East and North Africa.

–  More than 300 million Muslims, or one-fifth of their global population, live in countries where Islam is not the majority religion. Muslims are a minority in India but it has the third-largest Muslim population (161 million).

– Sub-Saharan Africa has about 15 percent of the Muslim population, and Pew estimates that Muslims are a slight majority in Nigeria at 50.4 percent of the population.

– Ten to 13 percent of Muslims are estimated to be Shias and most Shias live in just four countries: Iran, Pakistan, India and Iraq. Sunnis account for 87 to 90 percent of the Muslim population.

– In Europe, there are an estimated 38.1 million Muslims.


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Fascinating map. My guess is that CAIR will have serious issues with Pew’s low estimate of 2.4 Muslims in the United States.

Posted by Darren | Report as abusive

The article on “mapping the Muslims” should take in account that a lot of Muslims are furtively practicing Christianity, as it is punishable by death to leave Islam and convert to another religion. Also, one reason why Islam is the fastest growing religion is because polygamy is practiced, following in Muhammed’s footsteps. Islam is a religion of force and fear and it’s goal is world domination. Why don’t people read the Koran and Hadith, and go after all the human rights atrocities practiced under Sharia Law – especially toward women and children.

Posted by Tess | Report as abusive

its a shame whenever we have any survey depecting the growth os muslimd we have the same islamaphobes questioning its credibility. The figure is in the middle of both the high and low estimates..

Posted by abdul | Report as abusive

Hey tess stop being so testy.

Why is it to Christian haters the growth of Islam is a threat? You think the entire world should be Bible thumpers anything less, we should go bomb them like in Iraq and Afghanistan and spread the good news through missionaries and Bible-floods?

Islam is the fastest growing religion through population trend growth, increasing conversions, and intermarriages.

Muslims don’t hate you…and if you hate Muslims as is evident in your anti-Sharia’h posts, then that’s your loss.

Peace to all esp. my beloved Muslims!

Posted by Cheryl Osgood | Report as abusive

It’s ironic that some Muslims like to hide behind pseudo-scientific concepts like “Islamophobia”…the absurd notion that those who actively disagree with Islam somehow suffer from some sort of “psychological condition” that causes this lack of sympathy for Islam!! You never hear any claims of “judeophobia”, “hispanophobia” or “christophobia”…the ONLY other politically protected group who tries to portray those who disagree with them as “phobic” are the homosexuals, who love to complain about “homophobia”!! That is very ironic, because the homosexuals have no greater enemies than Muslims, who have borrowed the concept from the gays, even though many Muslims believe gays should be killed…

Posted by Don | Report as abusive

[…] Pew maps the Muslim world  – Reuters Blogs (blog) […]

Posted by Report: 1 in 4 People in the World Practice Islam | Oromo News, Oromo Music – | Report as abusive

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Posted by QALAM — Around the Muslim World » One in Four on Planet Earth is Muslim | Report as abusive

This news of 1.57 billion Muslims worldwide is
a bombshell, and definitely a curse against the U.S. Up to now, the Western media was talking about how the U.S. anti-Muslim campaign affected its status with the 100 million of Muslims worldwide [to assess the multitude of the Muslim strength -and foe- as a people].

Now the U.S. has to think more seriously about continuing its warfare against Muslims -given the fact that the Muslims at 15 times as many on the planet.
And I believe their birth rate is very high, so the future 10-year warfare the U.S. plans to continue in
Afghanistan might end with 2 billions Muslims enemies against the U.S. by 2019. It is certainly a threat that the U.S. cannot afford either to dismiss or disregard.

But, more importantly, I think this news is an eye opener for the U.S. administration as well. And since Muslim sentiment worldwide is around 94% anti-U.S. [from various global polls in 2007 and 2008], I hope that some of the questions the Americans should start asking themselves now are: Do we want to have 1.5 or 2 billion people around the globe that hate us? Is war against 1.5 billion Muslims so noble that keeping at war with them will make us better people? Should we continue the false pretexts of “national security” to continue wars against Muslims with lies that were proven to be concocted in the war in Iraq, and/or continue the Afghan War on similarly false pretexts? Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Posted by Nikos Retsos | Report as abusive

The article on “mapping the Muslims” should take in account that a lot of Muslims do not tell their identity because western countries are after their destroying their countries and lives. Millions of Muslims are being murdered in west every year since 1990 in Bosnia.

Posted by reality | Report as abusive

There is one statistic not mentioned in this article.

“The number of muslim worshippers in a country compared to the average education level in that country.”

No doubt the data for such a study would interest all concerned.

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

In Islam, there is only one god, God (Allah). (Terms in parentheses are the Arabic words or names which are commonly used by Muslims). The Word of God has been presented to man by a succession of prophets, the greatest of whom are Abraham (Ibrahim), Moses (Musa), Jesus (Isa) and Mohammed (Muhammed). In the broadest sense, any person who sincerely says the Muslim declaration of faith (Shahada), “There is no god but God, and Muhammed is his prophet” (La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasul Allah) is a Muslim.

Posted by ZoeChastain | Report as abusive

Does this mean the number of chances of finding a human bomb amongst you is getting brighter by each night?

Posted by HomDead | Report as abusive

What about the people who say they are muslim, so they don’t end up being beaten late at night by armed men with black cloth around their faces?

Or the people who only go to pray each day because if they don’t, they get reported to the virtue police and punished?

Or the people in Afganistan who are required to be muslim, or they disappear and never get seen again?

Are they classified as muslims too?

Posted by Whali | Report as abusive

To Zoe Chastain

Are you sure about your interpretation of Koran… No God But God And Mhd Prophet… I heard the mental capacity of Muslims is severely limited to interpreting Koran the right way? Like what is no God but God?… Is there God or is it not there or nowhere? Or does it reside in a book, the only book, the true meaning of which is again severely debated? Why is it that in order to overthrow government in muslim world, a barbaric interpretation of Koran is needed and then to overthrow that barbaric government, a more severe barbaric interpretation is needed. Is barbarism the only thing that muslims understand and communicate?

Despite having the perfect equation like 0+0=0, it still comes to naught with mental capacity of guys like Al Quaeda?

Posted by Q Marks? | Report as abusive

Islamaphobes? How many Baptists do we see hijacking commercial aircraft to fly in to Manhattan skyskrapers? How many Shakers were involved in the bombing of the USS Cole? Roman Catholics in the Beirut Marine Baracks bombing? Mormon shoe bombers? There is a plethora of of hate and violence being perpetrated around the globe by Islamic extremists While every adherent of Islam is certainly not responsible for the crimes of their lunatic fringes (anymore than the average Roman Catholic is for the plague of child molestation by a minority of priests that has come to light in recent years or the unconscionable bombings of abortion clinics) there is enough happening on planet earth these days to provoke a healthy doubt, if not paranoia, about the true goal of Islam in the world.

Posted by Dayspring | Report as abusive

there is enough happening on planet earth these days to provoke a healthy doubt, if not paranoia, about the true goal of Islam in the world.

There is no doubt about true goal of Islam which is rule of terror via Sharia Laws implemented by the likes of Talibanis and fire dousing by some religious preachers with web sites full of load of shits. Whether enough is being done to prevent is doubt able. People need to stand up and ask sissy politicos of world as to what are they doing to deal with the threat to world peace with the religious torch bearers who say this is the only way, no other way and deny right of existence to person holding to his belief of leading a peaceful and happy life.

The UN has got the habit to disappear under the skirt when it comes to dealing with terror being spread by the barbaric religious torch bearers, and their stone age sharia laws

Posted by Dawn of New Era | Report as abusive

Hey Tess,
did you read your Bible?… here are some for you:
Jesus said
“Do not think that I have come to send peace on earth. I did not come to
send peace, but a sword. I am sent to set a man against his father, a
daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her
mother-in-law” (Matthew 10:34-35)

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the
one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But
these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring
them here and slay them in my presence.” (Luke 19:26-27)

# promotes honor killings (Deuteronomy 22:15-21 [stone to death], Leviticus 21:9, Judges 11:36-40, Genesis 34:1-31);
# Promotes suicide attack (Judges 16:27-30)
# Stone to death who worships other gods (Deuteronomy 17:2-5);
# Kill who becomes an apostate or a heretic who dissents (Deuteronomy 13:8-9, 1 Timothy 1:20)
# Kill who entice a friend or family member to worship other gods (Deuteronomy 13:6-10);
# Requires veiling for all women (1 Corinthians 11:5);
# Treats women unjustly (1 Corinthians 11:5 and 14:34, 1 Timothy 2:11, Ecclesiasticus 25:18-19 & 33, Ecclesiastes 7:26, Genesis 3:16 & 19:8 & 21:10, Leviticus 27:6, Numbers 27:8-11 & 30, Deuteronomy 21:10-13 & 25:5-10 & 22:13-21, Judges 19:16-30);
# Believes in gender inequality (1 Timothy 2:11, 1 Corinthians14:34);
# Allows polygamy ( Exodus 21:10; 2 Samuel 5:13; 1 Chronicles 3:19 and 14:3; 1 Kings 11:3; 2 Chronicles 11:21; Deuteronomy 21:15; Genesis 4:19 & 16:2);
# Encourages beheading of enemies (1 Chronicles 10:9; 2 Kings 6:31, 2 Samuel 4:7 and 20:21; 2 Kings 10:6);
# Allows the murder of civilians in wartime (1 Samuel 15:3 and 15:18, Ezekiel 9:4-7, Hosea 13:16, Numbers 31, Isaiah 13:9 and 15-18);
# Injustice to a rape victim (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
# Kill who has sex outside of marriage (Leviticus 20:10-13,1 Corinthians 5:5);
# Promotes incest (Genesis 19:30-36, Genesis 35:22, Genesis 38:15-30, 2 Samuel 13:5-14, 2 Samuel 16:21-23)
# Pornography (Ezekiel 16:23-34, Ezekiel 23:1-35, Proverbs 7:7-22, Song of Songs 1:12-13, Song of Songs 3:1-4, Song of Songs 4:1-7, Judges 16:1)
# Kill anyone working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:15);
# Kill who violates the Sabbath (Numbers 15:35, 15:36);
# Kill one who curses one’s parents (Leviticus 20:9):
# Stone to death the rebel against parents (Deuteronomy 21:18-21);
# Kill a witch, medium, or wizard (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 20:27);
# Kill who engages in homosexual acts (Leviticus 20:13);
# Kill who is not a virgin on one’s wedding night (Deuteronomy 22:20-21);
# Kill who marry a foreigner (Numbers 25:6-9);
# Encourages killing of enemies – Numbers 33:50-52, Deuteronomy 2:33-36, 3:3-6 and 7:2) Luke 19:26-27);
# Encourages abandoning the sick (Numbers 5:1-4);
# Supports punishment for the sins of your ancestors (Numbers 14:18);
# Encourages war (Matthew 10:34);
# Promotes blood feuds (Numbers 35:19-21);
# Is anti-Semitic (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16, Micah3:1-12, Hosea 8:1-14, Matthew 23:13-39, Acts 2:23, 3:13-15);
# Promotes slavery (Ephesians 6:5, Deuteronomy 20:10);
# Sanction being sold into slavery as a punishment for theft (Exodus 22:1-3);
# Admits that their own texts have been falsified (Jeremiah 8:8);
# Demands unquestioning obedience to political authority (Romans 13:1);
# Advocates suicide (Samuel 31:4-5);
# Encourages the slaughter prisoners of war (Deuteronomy 7:1-2);
# Encourages killing of strangers (Numbers 1:51, 3:10, 3:38, 18:7);

Posted by paxglobal | Report as abusive

I seriously doubt this information. The CIA fact book had the Muslim population at 2.3 billion. Seems someone is trying to falsify history

Posted by Edwin Ali | Report as abusive

[…] per comprendere il mondo in cui viviamo. Uno di questi dati è rappresentato dal rapporto Mapping the Global Muslim Population, pubblicato dal centro di ricerca americano,The Pew Research Center, e avente per oggetto la […]

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What if the population receded down to endangered species? Will it mean peace, food, environmental safety in the world? Do we need to make irresistible sexually arousing products which enhance the ultimate pleasure and cause decline in population?

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