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Muslims to replace Jews as 2nd largest religion in US by 2040: Study

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
By 2040, Muslims will replace Jews as the nation’s second-largest religious group after Christians, according to the Pew Research Center. (Photo by AFP)

Muslims are projected to replace Jews as America’s second-largest religious group after Christians by 2040, with their population estimated to reach approximately 8 million in about 20 years, according to a new study.

New estimates from the Pew Research Center show that there were about 3.45 million Muslims of all ages living in the US in 2017, and that Muslims made up about 1.1 percent of the total US population.

“By 2040, Muslims will replace Jews as the nation’s second-largest religious group after Christians. And by 2050, the US Muslim population is projected to reach 8.1 million, or 2.1% of the nation’s total population — nearly twice the share of today,” Pew said.

"Our projections suggest that the US Muslim population will grow much faster than the country’s Jewish population. By 2040, Muslims will replace Jews as the nation’s second-largest religious group after Christians,” the report said.

The number of Muslims in the US has grown at a rate of about 100,000 per year because of the migration of Muslims to the US and higher fertility rates among Muslim Americans, Pew found.

"Since our first estimate [2007] of the size of the Muslim American population, the number of US Muslims has been growing rapidly," it said.

Christianity is still by far the largest religion in the United States with different Christian denominations representing about 71 percent of the population.

Pew said calculating the actual population of Muslims living in the United States is not easy, in part because the US Census Bureau does not ask questions about religion, meaning there is no official government figure of the number of Muslims or other religions in the US.

However, some scholars dispute the figures by Pew, arguing that the Muslim population in the US has already reached to about 7 million, which is twice the figure reported by Pew.

A separate survey by Pew released in July shows that most American Muslims have experienced deep suspicion about their faith since US President Donald Trump took office in January.

Almost three-quarters of US Muslims view Trump as unfriendly toward them and 64 percent said they experienced some sort of discrimination since Trump’s election.

Trump’s hateful comments and actions directed at Muslims have perpetuated Islamophobia, said Zainab Chaudry, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

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