Most Muslims Are Asian, Not Arab

Many people associate Muslims with Arabs – possibly because the Quran is in Arabic and Prophet Muhammad was an Arab. However, statistics show that the majority of Muslims as of 2019 are from South Asia.

2017 Statistics

According to Wikipedia, as of 2017, here are the top 8 most populous Muslim countries, ordered by Muslim population.

RankCountryMuslim PopulationPercentage of World Muslim Population

Most Muslims don’t speak Arabic

All but one country, Egypt, in the list above are non-Arabic speaking countries and they make up more than half (58.7%) of the world Muslim population.

Most Muslims are from South / Southeast Asia

Furthermore, the first four countries in the list above are all in South/Southeast Asia and make up almost half (43.9%) of the world’s Muslim population. As of 2017, there were 986,420,000 Muslims in Asia and only 370,070,000 Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa (Arabic-speaking countries), i.e. there were 2.6 times as many Muslims in Asia as there were in the Middle East and North Africa.

Most populous Muslim country

Though Indonesia currently has the largest population of Muslims, it likely only became so as of 1947 when the British divided India into India and Pakistan. And in 1971, India was further divided into India and Bangladesh. Had either of these partitions not happened, India would by far have the largest percentage of Muslims worldwide. Furthermore, projections suggest that by 2050 India will have the world’s largest population of Muslims, with estimates expected to reach at least 300 million.

Islam to be largest religion by 2070

The Pew Research Center estimates that by 2070, Islam will overtake Christianity, due to a faster birth rate (2.7 children per family vs. 2.2 for Christian families). As of 2017, Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world.

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