According to information from the Pew Research Centre, Islam is the fast growing religion in the world – but not in Australia.
Pew Research data found that by 2050, 29.7 per cent of the global population will be comprised of Muslims. Currently, that figure is 23.5 per cent.
“By 2050, Muslims will be nearly as numerous as Christians, who are projected to remain the world’s largest religious group at 31.4 per cent of the global population,” the report said.
According to the report, this high growth rate is due to the fact that for the largest proportion of Muslims, their childbearing years are still ahead of them.
“Globally, Muslims have the highest fertility rate, an average of 3.1 children per woman – well above replacement level (2.1), the minimum typically needed to maintain a stable population,” the report said.
Turning to Australian shores, the 2011 Census revealed that 2.2 percent of Australians (just 476,300 people) identified as Muslim. While the number of Muslims migrating to Australia remains small, the general perception of Australia’s Muslim population reflects another story. Last year, a poll on perceptions by research group Ipsos Mori found that on average, poll respondents believed that around 18 per cent of Australians were Muslim – considerably more than the actual 2.2 to 2.4 per cent. Furthermore, Islam is not showing signs of a rapid growth in Australia any time soon.
So, if Islam isn’t the fastest growing religion in Australia, what is? Hinduism is currently the fourth-largest religious group in the world and as the 2011 Census shows, the fastest growing religious group in Australia.
This is down to the four source countries comprising most of Australia’s new intake: India, China, UK and New Zealand.
According to Pew Research, Hinduism is projected to rise by 34 per cent – from a little over 1 billion to nearly 1.4 billion. This is keeping pace with overall population growth.
Interestingly, the data also found that by 2050, Christianity will have lost 60 million people to agnosticism and atheism.
Were these findings surprising to you? Why not read the Pew Research report titled The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050?
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