In this article, we explore the projected increase in the Muslim population in various countries by 2050. The religious landscape of the world is changing rapidly, driven by factors such as fertility rates and the proportion of young people in different religious groups. Islam is currently the second largest religion in the world, with approximately 1.8 billion followers, accounting for about 24% of the global population. However, according to the Pew Research Center, by 2050, the Muslim population is expected to nearly equal the Christian population, reaching an estimated 2.4 billion.
Between 2010 and 2050, the Muslim population is projected to grow by 73%, while the Christian population is expected to increase by 35%. Meanwhile, the percentage of atheists and those unaffiliated with any religion is expected to decline. Additionally, if current trends continue, it is estimated that Muslims will make up 10% of Europe’s population by 2050, India will surpass Indonesia to become the country with the largest Muslim population, and Muslims will outnumber Jews in the United States, making Islam the second largest religion in the country.
Despite the disproportionate size of the Muslim population compared to their contribution to the global economy, the Islamic world holds significant economic potential. The Middle East, for instance, possesses 53% of the world’s proven oil and gas reserves, with these natural resources accounting for 51% of the region’s exports. Seven of the top ten oil-producing countries are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Additionally, Iran has the second largest proven natural gas reserves globally. Notably, Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, generated $161 billion in profits in 2022, making it the second largest company in the world by revenue.
Prominent oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates have attracted investments from global energy corporations for decades. For instance, Exxon Mobil Corporation has been operating in Saudi Arabia for 90 years and played a crucial role in the formation of Saudi Aramco. British Petroleum (BP) discovered oil in the UAE in 1958 and currently produces over 170,000 barrels of oil per day in Abu Dhabi. Moreover, Middle Eastern companies are also making strides in the technology sector, such as Anghami Inc., the first Arab company to be listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange.
Muslim-majority countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia offer numerous investment opportunities due to their skilled workforce and cost-effective labor. Companies like Microsoft Corporation have established offices in Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia, with Microsoft expecting its data center in Indonesia to increase the company’s revenue by $6 billion. Samsung is another example, manufacturing its top-tier Galaxy smartphones in both Bangladesh and Pakistan. Furthermore, there are abundant natural resources in the region, attracting the return of companies like Exxon Mobil Corporation to Pakistan after a long hiatus.
The Muslim community in the United States has made significant contributions to various sectors. A study by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding found that Muslims in the US had the most optimistic view of the country’s direction compared to other surveyed groups. Additionally, Muslims aged 25 and above were more likely to hold college degrees compared to other groups. Economically, 8% of Muslims in the US own businesses that have employed approximately 1.37 million Americans. In New York City alone, there are over 95,000 businesses owned by Muslims, generating more than 250,000 jobs. Muslim households in New York City contributed an estimated $17 billion in consumer spending in 2016. Furthermore, Muslims play a significant role in various professions, such as 9% of doctors, 12% of pharmacists, and 11.3% of engineers in New York City being Muslims.
Now, let’s delve into the list of the top 25 countries where the Muslim population is projected to increase the most by 2050:
25. China: The Muslim population in China is expected to reach 35.29 million by 2050, with an estimated increase of 7.28 million. This represents a 26% increase.
24. Kenya: Kenya’s Muslim population is projected to reach 12.92 million by 2050, with an estimated increase of 7.37 million. This represents a 132% increase.
23. Uganda: Uganda’s Muslim population is expected to reach 13.37 million by 2050, with an estimated increase of 7.82 million. This represents a 141% increase.
22. Syria: Syria’s Muslim population is projected to reach 31.22 million by 2050, with an estimated increase of 8.63 million. This represents a 38% increase.
21. Guinea: Guinea is a Muslim-majority country, and its Muslim population is expected to reach 19.56 million by 2050, with an estimated increase of 8.76 million. This represents an 81% increase.
The list continues with other countries where the Muslim population is projected to experience significant growth by 2050.