Report: Europe’s Share Of Muslims Expected To Rise Sharply

Jacob Bojesson | Foreign Correspondent

The share of Muslims in Europe will rise by 2050 regardless of how many migrants the continent lets in, according to a report by Pew Research Center released Wednesday.

Europe has experienced record-breaking migration from the Middle East in recent years. Muslims made up 4.9 percent of Europe’s total population in 2016 — up from 3.8 percent in 2010. The share will rise to 7.4 percent by 2050 even if the country completely shuts the door on immigration, according to the report.

Under a “medium” migration scenario with “regular” immigration patterns, Muslims could make up 11.2 percent of Europe’s total population by mid-century. A “high” immigration scenario puts the estimate at 14 percent.

Each scenario predicts that Europe’s non-Muslim population will decline significantly — from 521 million to an estimated 482 million.

The trend affects countries differently depending on government policies. Germany — the country that has taken in the highest number of migrants since 2015 — could be made up of anywhere between 9 percent and 20 percent Muslims by 2050. The difference is even larger in Sweden, where the Muslim population could make up anywhere between 11 percent and 31 percent depending on immigration patterns.

Several countries have reported an alarming decline in birth rates. Italy had 12,000 fewer births in 2016 compared to the year before, according to an Istat report released Tuesday.

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