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Projections of Europe’s Growing Muslim Population Under Three Migration Scenarios

In: Journal of Religion and Demography
Authors:
Conrad Hackett Pew Research Center; University of Maryland, chackett@pewresearch.org

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Marcin Stonawski International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); Cracow University of Economics, stonaw@iiasa.ac.at

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Michaela Potančoková International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), michaela.potancokova@oeaw.ac.at

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Phillip Connor Pew Research Center, pconnor@pewresearch.org

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Anne Fengyan Shi Pew Research Center, ashi@pewresearch.org

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Stephanie Kramer Pew Research Center, skramer@pewresearch.org

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Joey Marshall Pew Research Center, joeymarshall@live.com

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We present estimates of how Muslim populations in Europe increased between 2010 and 2016 and projections of how they will continue to grow under three migration scenarios. If all migration were to immediately and permanently stop – a “zero migration” scenario – the Muslim population of Europe still would be expected to rise from the current level of 4.9% to 7.4% by the year 2050 because Muslims are younger (by 13 years, on average) and have higher fertility (one child more per woman, on average) than other Europeans. A second, “medium” migration scenario assumes all refugee flows stopped as of mid-2016 but that recent levels of “regular” migration to Europe will continue. Under these conditions, Muslims could reach 11.2% of Europe’s population in 2050. Finally, a “high” migration scenario projects the record flow of refugees into Europe between 2014 and 2016 to continue indefinitely into the future with the same religious composition (i.e., mostly made up of Muslims) in addition to the typical annual flow of regular migrants. In this scenario, Muslims could make up 14% of Europe’s population by 2050. Refugee flows around 2015, however, were extremely high and already have begun to decline as the European Union and many of its member states have made refugee policy changes.

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