Research shows more Muslims reside in Asia-Pacific than the Middle East.


President Donald Trump’s recent executive order temporarily freezing immigration from seven predominantly Islamic countries would affect only about 12% of the world’s Muslims, according to estimates from a Pew Research Center report on the current and projected size of religious groups. In fact, of the seven countries named in the new immigration ban – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – only one, Iran, is among the 10 countries with the largest Muslim populations.

As of 2010, there were an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making Islam the world’s second-largest religious tradition after Christianity. And although many people, especially in the United States, may associate Islam with countries in the Middle East or North Africa, nearly two-thirds (62%) of Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the Pew Research Center analysis. In fact, more Muslims live in India and Pakistan (344 million combined) than in the entire Middle East-North Africa region (317 million).
FT_17.01.31whereMuslimsLive

Muslims make up a majority of the population in 49 countries around the world. The country with the largest number (about 209 million) is Indonesia, where 87.2% of the population identifies as Muslim. India has the world’s second-largest Muslim population in raw numbers (roughly 176 million), though Muslims make up just 14.4% of India’s total population.

Two-thirds of all Muslims worldwide live in the 10 countries shown below. Of the 10 countries, six are in Asia (Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Iran and Turkey), three are in North Africa (Egypt, Algeria and Morocco) and one is in Sub-Saharan Africa (Nigeria).

Countries with the Largest Number of Muslims

Estimated 2009
Muslim Population
Percentage of
Population that
is Muslim
Percentage of
World Muslim
Population
Indonesia 202,867,000 88.2% 12.9%
Pakistan 174,082,000 96.3 11.1
India 160,945,000 13.4 10.3
Bangladesh 145,312,000 89.6 9.3
Egypt 78,513,000 94.6 5.0
Nigeria 78,056,000 50.4 5.0
Iran 73,777,000 99.4 4.7
Turkey* 73,619,000 ~98 4.7
Algeria 34,199,000 98.0 2.2
Morocco* 31,993,000 ~99 ~2
* Data for Turkey and Morocco come primarily from general population surveys, which are less reliable than censuses or large-scale demographic and health surveys for estimating minority-majority ratios (see Methodology). As a result, the percentage of the population that is Muslim in these two countries is rounded to the nearest integer.

Muslim Population by Region

  Estimated 2009
Muslim Population
Percentage of
Population that
is Muslim
Percentage of
World Muslim
Population
Asia-Pacific 972,537,000 24.1% 61.9%
Middle East-North Africa 315,322,000 91.2 20.1
Sub-Saharan Africa 240,632,000 30.1 15.3
Europe 38,112,000 5.2 2.4
Americas 4,596,000 0.5 0.3
World Total 1,571,198,000 22.9 100.0
Note: The list of countries that make up each region can be found in the section titled “World Muslim Population by Region and Country.”

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