India Will have the World's Highest Muslim Population in 2060

Pakistan will have the second largest Muslim population.

A recent edition of a Pew Research Center report featured a list in the form of two tables. The tables feature the Christian and Muslim populations from all over the world with differences in diversity and concentration of the two major religions. The columns give a hint to the projected changes which both Christianity and Islam will go through during the coming years.

The lists illustrate the world Muslim population being concentrated in some areas of the world while marginal and sparse in others in contrast to Christianity, whose followers are more evenly spaced around the globe. The population of Muslims is highest in Islam’s important centers. Approximately 65 percent of Muslims reside in nations with the ten most significant Muslim populations. To put this data in perspective, only 48 percent of the global Christian population live in countries having the ten largest Christian communities. About 52 percent of global Christians reside in nation states where the dominant religion by population is not Christianity. The same statistic can be applied to only 35 percent of global Muslims.

In 2015 Indonesia, India, and Pakistan held the world’s largest Muslim populations, with 12.6 percent, 11.1 percent, and 10.5 percent respectively being citizens of these three nations. It is expected with current growth rates continuing, India will be the home of the largest Muslim population in 2060 hosting 11.1 percent of the world’s Muslims, with Indonesia and Bangladesh at 8.5 percent and 6.1 percent respectively. When it comes to absolute terms, 1.2 billion Christians and 609 million Muslims live where their faith is not in the top 10 countries.

India is a unique country in the sense that despite housing the world's second-largest Muslim population, the number of adherents towards Islam (15 percent of the Indian population) nothing compared to the number of people identifying themselves as Hindu. Nigeria is another country hosting both the sixth most significant Christian population in the world (87 million) and the fifth largest global Muslim population (90 million).

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