Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In the next 20 years, Muslims in Israel (excluding Gaza and the West Bank) will reach 23.2 per cent of the population of the Jewish state, rising from 1.3 million in 2010 to 2.1 million in 2030, this according to a report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
In the past 20 years, the Muslim population in Israel has more than doubled, going from 0.6 million in 1990 to 1.3 million in 2010, and it is expected to reach 2.1 million by 2030.
However, falling birth rates will slow the growth the world's Muslim population over the same period, from 2.2 per cent a year in 1990-2010 to 1.5 per cent a year from now until 2030, the study shows.
“The declining growth rate is due primarily to falling fertility rates in many Muslim-majority countries," it said. This is happening because the birth rate is falling, as more Muslim women are educated, living standards rise and rural people move to the cities.
It said about 60 per cent of the world's Muslims will live in the Asia-Pacific region in 2030, 20 per cent in the Middle East, 17.6 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, 2.7 per cent in Europe and 0.5 per cent in the Americas.
Pakistan will overtake Indonesia as the world's most populous Muslim nation by 2030, whilst the Muslim minority in mostly Hindu India will retain its global rank as the third largest Muslim community.