Islam will become the second-largest religious group in the United States by 2050, according to a report from the Pew Research Center.
Islam’s spectacular birthrates, the relative youth of Muslims and the increase in Muslim immigration into the United States combine to account for its accelerated growth rate in the U.S.
Muslims currently make up approximately 0.9% of the U.S. adult population, or 1.8 million Muslim adults. If children are included, the Muslim population in the United States totals 2.75 million Muslims in the country, the majority of whom (63%) are immigrants.
As the fastest-growing religion in America, by the year 2050, the number of Muslims is projected to more than double, surpassing Judaism as the country’s second-largest religious group after Christianity. Those identifying with Islam are projected to comprise 2.1% of the U.S. population.
Among all immigrants to the United States, the Muslim share also doubled in just ten years, from roughly 5% in 1992 to 10% of all immigrants in 2012. In that year, 100,000 Muslim immigrants entered the country.
Almost half of Muslims living in America, 48%, say that all or most of their close friends are also Muslims, and 69% say religion is very important in their lives.
American Muslims also identify overwhelmingly with the Democratic Party; 70% are sympathetic to the Democrats versus just 11% who say they lean more toward the Republican Party. U.S. Muslims are also favorable to big government, as 68% say they prefer that the government provide “more services.”
Among all religious groups, Muslims tend to be viewed the least favorable by Americans, who view them roughly the same way they view atheists. On the contrary, U.S. citizens view Jews, Catholics, evangelical Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and Mormons more warmly.
Politically, Republicans are less favorable to Islam than are Democrats; Republicans are more likely to say they are “very concerned” about the rise of Islamic extremism in the world and that “Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.