By 2060 Muslims will have 6 million more births than Christians; Hindus and Jews will not keep pace with other religions; Buddhist population will decline.

Although Christians are still the largest religious group in the world as per the latest estimates by Pew, research projects the Muslim population growth will surpass Christians in less than 20 years. The number of babies born to Muslims will outnumber the number of babies born to Christians, eventually resulting in Islam becoming the largest religious group in the world.

When we look into the past few years, we see that the shares of babies born to both religious groups have increased. However, the margin by which the number of babies outnumber the number of people in that group around the world, are different. 24 percent people around the world are Muslims today. According to the research, the share of Muslim babies is 31 percent. In contrast, the total number of Christians is 31 percent, and the share of Christian babies is only 33 percent. Although both are showing an increase, it is clear the growth of the Christian population is slowing down while the Muslim population is on a rapid rise.

The biggest change is seen in the demographics of both religions. While the number of elderly Christians is increasing, the number of young Christians is on a decline. Although the young Christian population of regions such as sub-Saharan Africa is set to increase, on the whole, Christianity remains the religion of the aged. On the contrary, the number of young Muslims is growing. This points out to the fact that while the number of Christian deaths will outnumber the share of Christian births, the opposite will be true among Muslims.

Other religious groups like Hindus and Jews will also make significant population growth in the future. However, this growth won't be enough to keep them in pace with the total population growth globally. As per the forecast, the population shares of these groups will be smaller in contrast to the total population of the world than they were in 2015. The Buddhist population will drop by 7 percent, rather than grow. Other smaller religions such as Sikhs, Jains and Taoists too may shrink by 2060. Religious ‘nones’ are another group on a steady decline, and have a very low birth rate.

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