Muslim population could triple in some European countries by 2050

01 Décembre, 2017, 02:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The study estimates 58.8 million Muslims would account for 11.2 per cent of the population in a “medium migration” scenario that has migration maintaining a “regular speed” — defined by the Pew researchers as migration motivated by economic edu

In all three scenarios the Muslim population in Europe is predicted to grow with it more than doubling in Pew's "medium" scenario" and tripling in its "high' scenario. As a proportion of the continent's overall population, that represents an increase from around five percent to a figure ranging from 7.5 percent to 14 percent.

A revealing survey by Pew Research Center, "Europe's Growing Muslim Population", looks at the future of the 25.8 million Muslims now residing in European countries. Even if all current 28 European Union members, plus Norway and Switzerland, closed their borders to migrants, the Muslim population constituent in the west would continue to grow because of a younger age profile and higher fertility rates, but would remain very low in the east.

The study was based on census and survey data, population registers, immigration data and other sources. These fears have also spread across the Atlantic into the United States, where Muslims make up 1 percent of the population.

Over the last several years, Europe has experienced a record influx of refugees and asylum seekers from Muslim-majority countries, as people have fled violence and poverty in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Each scenario assumed different future migration rates.

The Pew Research Centre, in a study entitled "Europe's Growing Muslim Population" issued three projections based on different migration scenarios - zero arrivals, "medium" flows and "high" migration.

Even with the most immigration, Muslims would "still be considerably smaller than the populations of both Christians and people with no religion in Europe", the researchers concluded.

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With heavy influx, Germany's Muslim population could grow from 6.1% in 2016 to 19.7% in 2050.

If all refugee flows to Europe stopped immediately but regular migration continued, the number of Muslims in Europe would reach 11.2 percent over the next 32 years, the study found. The report also highlighted the role of migration in stemming population decline in Europe. A "high" immigration scenario puts the estimate at 14 percent. Pew's projections showed Europe being unevenly affected by migration.

Sweden's Muslims, who were at 8 per cent in 2016, would account for 31 per cent of the population in that same scenario. The number of Muslim migrants arriving in Europe surged after 2014 to nearly half a million annually, largely due to people fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, it said. The "zero" migration scenario envisages the most significant change in countries such as France, Italy and Belgium.

Migrants arriving in Munich, September 2015.

Meanwhile, some countries that had comparatively few Muslim residents in 2016 would continue to have few by 2050 in all three scenarios. Even with "high" migration, Poland's Muslims are expected to total no more than 60,000.

These report also predicts that certain Eastern European countries would not witness a major change in population.

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