Recent unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and elsewhere across the Middle East has led to a resurgence of interest in the region’s demography
, just in time, it turns out, for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life’s 2011 refresh of its report on Muslim population growth
, which this year includes a new interactive feature, “The Global Muslim Population
According to the report, current security hot-spots such as Afghanistan
, and Nigeria
will continue to grow considerably faster than the mean.
On the flip side, the report also found that the median age in the Middle East-North Africa region is rising – a generally agreed upon good indicator for the prospects of more liberal, democratic regimes – and though global Muslim population will continue to grow faster than the world’s non-Muslim population, this growth will be slower than in decades past.
The accompanying interactive feature allows users to select a region (the Americas, Europe, Middle East/North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, or Asia-Pacific), a specific country, and a decade (1990-2030) in their search. In the example above, Egypt will add 25 million Muslims to its population over the next two decades, representing a 30 percent increase. Comparatively, from 1990 to 2010, Egypt’s Muslim population increased by 48.5 percent.
The user is able to see the estimated Muslim population of the country, the percent of the total population that is Muslim, and the country’s percent share of the world’s total Muslim population (as seen in the example above of Egypt in 2010 and 2030). In addition, these variables can be sorted in tables.
It’s important to note though, write the authors of the report, that projections are not predictions:
This report makes demographic projections. Projections are not the same as predictions. Rather, they are estimates built on current population data and assumptions about demographic trends; they are what will happen if the current data are accurate and the trends play out as expected. But many things – immigration laws, economic conditions, natural disasters, armed conflicts, scientific discoveries, social movements and political upheavals, to name just a few – can shift demographic trends in unforeseen ways, which is why this report adheres to a modest time frame, looking just 20 years down the road. Image Credit: Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Sources: Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.