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The declining growth rate is due primarily to falling fertility rates in many Muslim-majority countries, including such populous nations as Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Fertility is dropping as more women in these countries obtain a secondary education, living standards rise and people move from rural areas to cities and towns.

In addition, a larger share of the Muslim population is in, or soon will enter, the prime reproductive years (ages 15-29).

Also, improved health and economic conditions in Muslim-majority countries have led to greater-than-average declines in infant and child mortality rates, and life expectancy is rising even faster in Muslim-majority countries than in other less-developed countries.

In absolute numbers, Europe’s Muslim population is projected to grow from 44.1 million in 2010 to 58.2 million in 2030.

The greatest increases – driven primarily by continued migration – are likely to occur in Western and Northern Europe, where Muslims will be approaching double-digit percentages of the population in several countries.

The only region where Muslim population growth is accelerating through 2020 is the Americas, largely because of immigration.

A majority of the world’s Muslims (about 60%) will continue to live in the Asia-Pacific region, while about 20% will live in the Middle East and North Africa, as is the case today.

But Pakistan is expected to surpass Indonesia as the country with the single largest Muslim population.

These are among the key findings of a comprehensive report on the size, distribution and growth of the global Muslim population.

The report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life seeks to provide up-to-date estimates of the number of Muslims around the world in 2010 and to project the growth of the Muslim population from 2010 to 2030.

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