Muslims may become second-biggest religious group in US by 2040

(Paul Sableman)Picketers declare that they stand with Muslims, immigrants and refugees against the Trump administration's anti-immigration policy.

Muslims in the United States are not as numerous as Americans who identify as Jewish by religion, but by 2040 they may replace Jews as the second biggest group in the nation after Christians, the Pew Research Center estimates.

Recent political debates over Muslim immigration and related issues have led to many people to ask how many Muslims actually live in the United States said Pew.

But finding an answer is not easy, partly because the U.S. Census Bureau does not ask questions about religion, so there is no official government count of the U.S. Muslim population.

In early 2017, Pew reported that Jews accounted for about 2 percent of the adult population in the United States.

Currently they are the second-largest religious group.

Pew predicts that by 2050, the American Muslim population is projected to reach 8.1 million, or 2.1 percent of all Americans, nearly twice the quantity share of today.

The Pew projections suggest that the U.S. Muslim population will grow much faster than the country's Jewish population.

Muslims are not evenly distributed around the United States.

Some metro areas, such as Washington, D.C., have sizable Muslim communities.

It is same for certain states, such as New Jersey, that are home to two or three times as many Muslim adults per head as the national average.

But there are also states and counties with far fewer Muslims.

Since Pew's first estimate of the size of the American Islamic population, the number of U.S. Muslims has grown rapidly, albeit from a relatively low base.

The first Pew study of Muslim Americans in 2007 estimated that there were 2.35 million Muslims of all ages (including 1.5 million adults) in the United States.

By 2011, the number of Muslims had grown to 2.75 million (including 1.8 million adults).

From that date, the Muslim population has continued to grow at a rate of around 100,000 a year, driven both by higher fertility rates among Muslim Americans as well as the continued migration of Muslims to the United States.

Pew Research Center in 2016 estimated that there were about 3.3 million Muslims of all ages living in the United States in 2015. This means that Muslims made up about 1% of the total U.S. population, about 322 million in 2015, and it estimated that that share would double by 2050.

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