Muslim population in parts of Europe could TRIPLE by 2050: New study predicts migration and birth rates will lead to dramatic rise in numbers across continent
- Muslims making up total population of Britain could rise from 6.3 to 17.2 per cent
- As of 2016, the UK's share of Muslims was recorded at 6.3 per cent of the country
- Muslims average 13 years younger than other Europeans and have high birth rate
The Muslim population in parts of Europe - including Britain - could triple by 2050, researchers say.
Figures in a new report suggest a stark east-west divide, with the Muslim share of the UK's population rising from 6.3 per cent in 2016 to 16.7 per cent in one scenario.
The study by the Pew Research Centre concludes that Europe's Muslim population would continue to grow over the next several decades even if immigration to the continent were halted.
Under the 'zero migration' scenario, Muslims would make up 7.4 per cent of Europe's population by 2050 compared to the 4.9 per cent they comprised last year.?
Researchers say that's mostly because the birthrate for Muslims is generally higher than for other Europeans.?
Countries including Belgium, France and Italy will see the biggest change in the 'zero migration' scenario because they have young Muslim populations.?
As of 2016, the UK's share of Muslims was recorded as 6.3 per cent, around 4.1 million people. In Europe, the total was 4.9 per cent, around 24.9 million.
In the medium migration scenario - perhaps the most likely - the UK's Muslim population would rise from 6.3 per cent to 16.7 per cent - around 13 million.?
The Muslim population could triple in some European countries by 2050, with the UK projected to see one of the most rapid rises throughout the continent
Under the 'zero migration' scenario, an estimated 30 million Muslims would make up 7.4 per cent of Europe's population by 2050?
The lowest estimate has the share rising to 9.7 per cent, and the highest 17.2 per cent.?
Experts at Pew Research Centre, in Washington, USA, modeled three scenarios for estimating the number of Muslims who would be living in Europe by 2050.
All three used a mid-2016 estimate of 25.8 million as a baseline, but assumed different future migration rates.
Under the 'zero migration' scenario, an estimated 30 million Muslims would make up 7.4 per cent of Europe's population by 2050 compared to the 4.9 percent they comprised last year.
The researchers said that is mostly because Muslims are on average 13 years younger than other Europeans and also have a higher birthrate.
The study estimates 58.8 million Muslims would account for 11.2 per cent of the population in a 'medium migration' scenario that has migration maintaining a 'regular speed'.
In the 'high migration' scenario, the study projects that the record flow of migrants who came to Europe between 2015 and 2016 would continue indefinitely, resulting in 75 million Muslims in Europe, a 14 per cent increase, by the middle of the century.
Muslims are seen offering Eid al-Adha prayers in a convention centre in Marseille, southern France
Demonstrators display signs with crossed mosques during a protest in front of a mosque in Berlin, Germany
EU pledges ￡39bn to limit mass migration from Africa to Europe?
Jean-Claude Juncker (pictured), the European Commission president
The European Union has pledged ￡39billion to Africa by 2022 amid reports of slave trading in Libya.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president, said the best way to tackle mass migration out of Africa was to rebuild the continent's economy.?
Libya agreed with key EU and African leaders to allow up to 20,000 migrants facing abuse in detention camps to be evacuated within days or weeks.
The decision was taken after Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara called for 'all urgent measures' to end slave trading and other migrant abuses in Libya at an EU-Africa summit in Abidjan, the capital city of the Ivory Coast.?
The summit comes just two weeks after US network CNN aired footage of black Africans sold as slaves in Libya, sparking outrage from political leaders and street protests in African and European capitals.?
African Union, European Union and United Nations officials at the meeting offered increased support for the International Organisation of Migration 'to help with the return of the Africans who want it to their home countries'.
Even with the most immigration, Muslims would 'still be considerably smaller than the populations of both Christians and people with no religion in Europe,' the researchers concluded.
Muslim immigrants have been a politically sensitive topic in Europe following the influx of newcomers in 2015 and 2016.
Some countries have seen backlashes that have included populist parties campaigning on anti-Islam messages.
The study was based on census and survey data, population registers, immigration data and other sources.
The 30 countries it covered include the 28 European Union members, plus Norway and Switzerland.
Not all countries would be affected evenly by future immigration, according to the Pew report.
In the high migration scenario, Germany and Sweden would have the biggest increases because both countries took in the most asylum-seekers during the height of the refugee crisis two years ago.
While Muslims made up six per cent of Germany's population last year, their proportion would go up to 20 percent by 2050.
Sweden's Muslims, who were at eight per cent in 2016, would account for 31 per cent of the population in that same scenario.
Meanwhile, some countries that had comparatively few Muslim residents in 2016 would continue to have few by 2050 in all three scenarios.
Muslims pray in the street for Friday prayer in Paris. Thousands of faithful pray each Friday in the Paris streets due to the lack of mosques
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