The Pew Research Center has predicted that by 2040 Muslims will replace Jews as America’s second-largest religious group after Christians.
And by 2050, the US Muslim population is projected to reach 8.1 million, or 2.1% of the nation’s total population — nearly twice the share of today.
The US Census Bureau does not ask questions about religion, meaning there is no official government count of the US Muslim population. But based on the Washington-based think-tank’s own survey and demographic research, as well as outside sources, Pew estimates that there were about 3.45 million Muslims living in the US in 2017, and that Muslims made up about 1.1% of the total population.
At the moment Muslims are not as numerous as the number of Americans who identify as Jewish, according to Pew’s estimate. But their projections suggest that the US Muslim population will grow much faster than the country’s Jewish population.
Pew added that the Muslim American population has been growing rapidly. When they first conducted a study of Muslim Americans in 2007, they estimated that there were 2.35 million Muslims in the US. By 2011, the number of Muslims had grown to 2.75 million. Since then, the Muslim population has continued to grow at a rate of roughly 100,000 per year, driven both by higher fertility rates as well as the continued migration to the US.
Religious conversions haven’t had a large impact on the size of the US Muslim population, largely because about as many Americans convert to Islam as leave the faith.
While about one-in-five American Muslim adults were raised in a different faith tradition and converted to Islam, a similar share of Americans who were raised Muslim now no longer identify with the faith.