Muslims in Europe will make up 10 percent of the overall population by the year 2050, and will outnumber Christians worldwide by 2070, according to a forecast issued by Pew research centre on Thursday.
A report by the US-based organisation aimed to predict the future makeup of the world's population in terms of religious identity between the years 2010-2050.
“Muslims have an average of 3.1 children per woman—the highest rate of all religious groups," said Conrad Hackett, the author of the study.
Christians are second, with 2.7 children per woman, Hindus have 2.4 children per woman, and Jews have an average of 2.3 children per woman, the study shows.
The report also forecasts that Muslims will become the second-largest religious group in the United States by 2050, as Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion.
The number of Christians in Europe is expected to decrease by about 100 million people to 454 million in the same period.
Hackett states that fertility rates and migration are key factors behind the projected changes.
To account for changing policies on migration, the study looks at projected scenarios with and without migration in regions where it has the greatest impact.
“In Europe, for instance, the Muslim share of the population is expected to increase from 5.9% in 2010 to 10.2% in 2050 when migration is taken into account along with other demographic factors that are driving population change, such as fertility rates and age. Without migration, the Muslim share of Europe’s population in 2050 is projected to be nearly two percentage points lower (8.4%).”
The study was primarily based on census and survey data.