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The Fastest Growing Religions in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, & India Will Surprise You

Muslim Children

“Muslim children. Fathepur Sikri, India.” by babeltravel is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Data from Pew Research may surprise many as the fastest growing religion in Saudi Arabia & Pakistan is Hinduism, & India will be home to the most Muslims.

The Pew Research Center released findings that showed the fast growth of Islam in India and the similarly surprising steady growth of Hinduism in certain areas, most notably in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The growth of the Muslim population in India has been well documented in the past, but the data from Pew Research suggests that by 2050 India will have the largest Muslim population in the world. Looking at the relative population numbers, the Muslim population will rise from the current 14.4% to 18.4% by 2050.

However, simply focusing on the rising Muslim population in India alone is missing the bigger picture which indicates Islam is rising fast everywhere and in the India-Pacific region it will have surpassed the Hindu population going up from 24.3% of the population in the region to 30% by 2050. However,another key data point,, the study notes, is the rise of Hinduism in some surprising countries. For example, the current Hindu population in Saudi Arabia makes up about 1.1% of the rest of the population. This is projected to rise to 1.6% by 2050. This will see the population rise to double the number it was in 2010. The growth in Saudi Arabia is largely due to migration, a trend that is set to continue with projections showing at least one million Hindus will be migrating over the course of the next four decades.

Pakistan is another country where Hinduism is the fastest growing religion. This is attributed to a different factor and that is the fertility rate of Hindus in Pakistan. The fertility rate of Hindus in Pakistan is 3.2 children per woman which is higher than the average fertility rate among religions in the Asia-Pacific region (2.1 children per woman) and also higher than the global average which stands at 2.5 children per woman. An interesting point about the fertility rate of Hindus in Pakistan is that the rate is equal to that of Muslims in India. Thailand is also another country in Asia where the Hindu population is on the rise and it is projected to go from the current 0.1% of the population to 0.2% by 2050.

Hinduism is also growing in Europe, especially in Ireland, Belgium, Italy, and Greece primarily due to migration and the resulting fertility rate. Buddhism, another religion from India is also on the rise particularly in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria.


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