Muslim population in Canada to triple in next 20 years

News Agencies – January 27, 2011

The Muslim population of Canada will nearly triple over the next 20 years, according to a new study of global demographic trends focusing on the faith. The number of Canadians who identify themselves as Muslim will reach 2.7 million by 2030, up from approximately 940,000 today, and will make up 6.6 per cent of the total population.

The projections were released Thursday by the Pew Research Center Forum on Religion & Public Life, the first in a series of population projections of major world religions.

Around the world, the Muslim population is expected to increase by about 35 per cent, rising to 2.2 billion by 2030 and increasing at about twice the rate of the non-Muslim population.

Wahida Valiante, national president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, said she is concerned that the numbers will be used by some to stoke the flames of anti-Islamic rhetoric.

Before this study, which relies on census data and other national demographic records from more than 1,500 sources worldwide, there was no reliable global population data for the Muslim faith.

In Canada, Muslims are expected to make up 6.6 per cent of the total population in 2030, up from 2.8 per cent today. In the United States, the Muslim share of the population will rise to 1.7 per cent in 2030 from 0.8 per cent in 2010. The sudden growth is partly explained by a higher fertility rate among Muslim Canadians, and the large percentage who are approaching their child-bearing years.