WASHINGTON: The Muslim and Christian populations could be nearly equal by 2050, with Islam expected to be the fastest-growing faith on the planet, according to projections released Thursday.
The Pew Research Centre’s religious profile predictions measured data from round the world on fertility rates, developments in youth population growing and religious conversion figures.
According to the report, “Over the following four decades, Christians will continue the largest religious group, but Islam will mature faster than any other major religion.”
The authors predicted there will be 2.76 billion Muslims on the planet by then, and 2.92 billion Christians. Those figures would resemble to about 29.7 and 31.4 per cent of the world population, correspondingly.
There were 1.6 billion Muslims on the planet in 2010, matched to 2.17 billion Christians.
“The number of Muslims will closely equal the number of Christians around the world,” it added.
Hindus will be third, making up 14.9 per cent of the world’s total people, followed by people who do not affiliate with any religion, accounting for 13.2 per cent.
The Asia-Pacific region will continue the most popular for Muslims, bolstered by a youthful population with tall fertility rates.
The reading predicts that India will have the largest Muslim population — however it will hold a Hindu majority — surpassing Indonesia.
Muslims are likely to account for 10 per cent of Europe’s overall population, Pew added.
If the tendency continues, Islam will be the most popular faith in the world after 2070, it supposed.
Authors said the projections, accumulated over the past six years, are merely “what will happen if the current data are accurate and the trends play out as expected.”
“Many events — scientific discoveries, armed conflicts, social movements, political upheavals, natural disasters and altering economic conditions, to name just a few — can change demographic trends in unforeseen habits.”
The authors said religious transformation data came from only 70 countries, not counting the world’s most populous countries, India and China.
The report predicts the total of people with no religious affiliation will make up a declining share of the world’s total population, however in some countries — such as the United States and France — the figure of atheists and agnostics is expected to rise.
Buddhism is the individual faith that is not expected to increase its followers, due to an ageing population and stable fertility rates in Buddhist republics, such as China, Japan and Thailand.
In Europe, the one region where the overall population is expected to shrink, the Christian populace will drop from 553 million to 454 million.
In the same way, in the United States, Christians will drop from more than three quarters to two thirds in 2050.
Islam is probable to surpass Judaism as the most popular non-Christian faith in the United States.
The investigators gathered data from more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers from 175 countries, covering 95 percent of the world’s population.
The forecasts considered the size and geographic distribution of the world’s major religions, age changes, fertility and mortality rates, global migration and patterns in change.