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US study endorses Islam as fastest growing religion, popular in youth

Published: 22/12/2012 08:25:00 AM GMT
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Washington: A recent study by a US forum has endorsed that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and extremely popular in youth who are enthusiastic and curious to know the facts and conduct research to reach the truth.

By Farhan Iqbal


Washington: A recent study by a US forum has endorsed that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and extremely popular in youth who are enthusiastic and curious to know the facts and conduct research to reach the truth.

According to the recent study conducted by the Washington-based Pew Forum, Islam, the second largest religion in the world, is rapidly increasing across the globe and has the lowest median age as half of the Muslims are 23-year-old or younger, compared to 28 for the whole world population.

Exact numbers for religious populations are impossible to obtain and estimates for the size of the larger faiths can vary by hundreds of millions. The study by Pew Forum appears to be one of the most extensive to date.

There are about 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, or 23 percent of the global population. “The overwhelming majority (87-90 percent) are Sunnis, about 10-13 percent are Shia Muslims,” the study said.

Pew Forum demographer, Conrad Hackett, informed that the 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers used to compile the report did not allow a further breakdown to estimate the world population of atheists and agnostics.

He said, “It’s not the kind of data that’s available for every country.”

“A census will typically ask what your religion is and you can identify a number of particular affiliations or no religion,” he added.

An age breakdown showed Muslims had the lowest median age at 23 years, compared to 28 for the whole world population. The median age highlights the population bulge at the point where half the population is above and half below that number.

“Muslims are going to grow as a share of the world’s population and an important part of that is this young age structure,” Hackett said.

By contrast, Judaism, which has 14 million adherents or 0.2 percent of the world population, has the highest median age at 36, meaning its growth prospects are the weakest.

Hackett noted that Israel, which has 40.5 percent of the world Jewish population, had a younger age structure than the United States, where 41.1 percent of the world’s Jews live.

Global Christianity’s median age is 30 and Hinduism’s is 26. With a median age of 34, the growth prospects for religiously unaffiliated people are weak, the study showed.

However, the study said that the people with no religious affiliation make up the third-largest global group, placing after Christians and Muslims and just before Hindus.



Young Muslim girls

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