News Agencies – March 16, 2011
There are 2.1 million ‘declared Muslims’ aged 18-50 in France, far less than certain estimates advanced in the public debate, according to a study by the National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) and the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE). The joint study on the diversity of populations in France, was published under the title “Trajectories and Origins”. In France, a country which bans religious or ethnic statistics, it’s usually estimated that there are 5-6 million Muslims.
Patrick Simon, sociologist, researcher at INED, and one of the authors of the study says that even adding those under 18 or over 50, you won’t reach 5 million. Simon explained that ‘declared Muslims’ are people who declare themselves Muslims, whatever their religion or practices. It is not an estimate based on country of origin or their parents. People who come from majority-Islam countries or born to parents from such countries are usually automatically considered Muslims, and this might partially explain the discrepancy. On the other hand, says Simon, their figures include converts.