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Muslims: A Global Perspective

Muslims make up around a quarter of the world’s population. What are the facts?

June 18, 2024


The world’s Muslim population is expected to increase to 2.2 billion by 2030 – up from 1.9 billion today.


If current trends continue, Muslims will make up 26.4% of the world's total projected population of 8.3 billion in 2030 – up from 23.4% of the estimated 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.


From 1990 to 2010, the global Muslim population increased at an average annual rate of 2.2%, compared with the projected rate of 1.5% for the period from 2010 to 2030.


The slowdown in Muslim population growth is most pronounced in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe – and less sharp in sub-Saharan Africa.


A majority of the world’s Muslims (about 60%) will continue to live in the Asia-Pacific region, while about 20% will live in the Middle East and North Africa.


If current trends continue, 79 countries will have a million or more Muslim inhabitants in 2030.


The country with the largest number of Muslims is Indonesia, which is home to an estimated 242 million Muslims (about 87% of the population).


Sunni Muslims will continue to make up an overwhelming majority of Muslims in 2030 (87- 90%). The portion of the world’s Muslims who are Shia may decline slightly.


Although most Muslims do not speak Arabic as a native language, many Muslims learn Arabic as a language of religious study and prayer.


Arabic is the fifth-most spoken language in the world – with over 200 million native speakers of Arabic and more than 400 million total speakers of the language.


Arabic is one of the six official UN languages, and it is the official or co-official language of 27 countries.

Sources: Pew Reaearch Center, Language Connects Foundation, World Population Review 


Muslims make up around a quarter of the world's population. What are the facts?