Muslims Will Outnumber Jews in U.S. by 2040, Study Finds

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Shi'ite Muslims pray together while they rally for peace outside of the White House, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.
Shi'ite Muslims pray together while they rally for peace outside of the White House, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.Credit: AP

There are about 3.3 million Muslims currently living in the United States, the Pew Research Center Washington-based think tank estimates, and the proportion of the Muslim-American population is expected to double from its current one percent by 2050.

The think tank's findings are part a demographic projection of religious groups in the United States that also estimates that there are 5.7 million "Jews by religion" in the United States, as the Pew center put it. In 2014, the Pew Research Center published a detailed demographic study of American Jewry that distinguished those surveyed who defined themselves as "Jews by religion" and "Jews of no religion," meaning secular Jews.

"In some cities Muslims comprise significantly more than 1% of the community," read the report. "And even at the state level Muslims are not evenly distributed: Certain states, such as New Jersey, have two or three times as many Muslim adults per capita as the national average. 

"Recent political debates in the U.S. over Muslim immigration and related issues have prompted many to ask how many Muslims actually live in the United States. But coming up with an answer is not easy, in part because the U.S. Census Bureau does not ask questions about religion, meaning that there is no official government count of the U.S. Muslim population," the center explained.

The American Muslim population will grow much faster than the Jewish population, the Pew center predicted, meaning that Muslims will become the second-largest religious group in the country before 2040. Between 2010 and 2015, just over half of the estimated growth of the Muslim population was the result of immigration, the think tank said, adding that overall Muslims in the United States higher than average birthrates.

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