The BBC News Magazine reports this weekend on Muslim Demographics, a seven and a half minute video posted on YouTube. The video, which has had more than 10 million views, uses slick graphics, punctuated with dramatic music, to make some surprising claims, asserting that much of Europe will be majority Muslim in just a few decades. It says that in the past two decades, 90% of all population growth in Europe has been Muslim immigration.
Yet the sources for the figures regarding immigration and fertility statistics in individual European countries are not provided in the video and in some nations, such as France, the government does not collect statistics by religion. So it is impossible to say what the precise fertility rates among different religious groups in France are. Population projection is an inexact science. The current trends suggest that by 2050 Europe will have a bigger proportion of Muslims, although nothing like the level suggested in the video.
According to demographer Dr. Andrew Hinde, while true that immigrant communities often have higher fertility rates, over time these usually fall into line with the indigenous population. This might not happen with Muslim immigrants. But nobody can know and that’s why, according to Dr Hinde, it is so hard to guess the future.