India to have world's largest Muslim population by 2050
Pew' study projects Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world.
India will overtake Indonesia as the country with the largest number of Muslims in 2050 while Hindus will become the world's third largest population by that time, according to a new study by US think-tank Pew research centre.
According to the Centre's religious profile predictions assessed data released in February this year, Muslims are projected to grow faster than the world's overall population and that Hindus and Christians are to roughly keep pace with worldwide population growth.
"India will retain a Hindu majority - with their population rising to 1.3 billion - but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia," the Pew report said.
According to Pew in 2011, Indonesia had a Muslim population of about 205 million as against India's 177 million.
"Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion," it added.
Christian population in India, which is at 2.5 per cent of the total population right now, will reduce to 2.3 per cent of the total population in 2050, the report adds.
There were 1.6 billion Muslims in 2010, compared to 2.17 billion Christians. "The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world," the report said. If the trend continues, Islam will be the most popular faith in the world after 2070, the report said.
The projections considered fertility rates, trends in youth population growth and religious conversion statistics.
For Muslims, this age is 22 as compared to Hindus for whom the age is 26. The median age for Christians is 28. Muslim women in India have an average of 3.2 children per woman against Hindu women who have 2.5 children per woman, while Christian women have 2.3 children per woman.
The Muslim population will rise faster increasing from 14.4 per cent in 2010 to 18.4 per cent of the total population in 2050, according to the report.
The research centre has projected the Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world and will increase faster than the world population as whole.
(With inputs from PTI)
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