Washington, Oct 8 (IANS) — Muslims constitute 23 percent of the 6.8 billion global population, according to a new study in 232 countries and territories. Indonesia and Pakistan are home to over 200 million and 174 million Muslims.
“The new study is based on the best available data,” said the Forum on Religion and Public Life, a unit of US-based think tank Pew Research Centre, which conducted the study, “Mapping the Global Muslim Population“.
“Previously published estimates of the size of the global Muslim population have ranged widely from 1 billion to 1.8 billion,” said the centre, which analysed over 1,500 sources, including census reports, demographic studies and general population surveys.
India is home to 160.95 million Muslims, representing 13.4 percent of the country’s population, or 10.3 percent of their global numbers.
India also tops the list of countries with the largest number of Muslims living as a minority community. India is one of four countries accounting for most of the global Shia population.
The key findings of the study, released here late Wednesday, are:
– India has the third largest population of Muslims worldwide
– China has more Muslims than Syria
– Russia is home to more Muslims than Jordan and Libya combined
– While Muslims are found on all five inhabited continents, more than 60 percent of the global Muslim population is in Asia
– Middle East and North Africa account for 20 percent of the Muslim population
– The Middle East-North Africa region has the highest percentage of Muslim-majority countries
– More than half of the 20 countries and territories in Middle East-North Africa region have populations that are approximately 95 percent Muslim or more
– More than 300 million Muslims, or a fifth of the world’s Muslim population, live in countries where Islam is not the majority religion
– These minority Muslim populations are often quite large
– Of the total Muslim population, 10-13 percent are Shias and 87-90 percent are Sunnis
– Most Shias, between 68-80 percent, live in just four countries, namely Iran, Pakistan, India and Iraq
The new report has an executive summary, maps and charts to illustrate the geographic distribution of Muslims, explanations of the study’s methodologies and a list of data sources by country.
Indonesia accounts for the largest number of Muslims at 202.87 million, or 88.2 percent of the country’s population, followed by Pakistan with 174.08 million, or 96.3 percent of the population.
Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey, Algeria and Morocco, in that order, make up the 10 countries with the largest population of Muslims.
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