- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The number of Muslims worldwide is increasing rapidly, with 23 percent of the global population, and will become the largest religion in terms of followers by the end of century, overtaking Christianity, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

The study also found that the number of Muslim immigrants with permanent residency status in the U.S. has doubled, from just 5 percent in 1992 to 10 percent in 2012.

The nonpartisan research center said Muslims currently only make up about 1 percent of the U.S. adult population, but that number could increase to 2.1 percent by 2050, surpassing people who identify as members of the Jewish faith to become the second-largest religious group in the country.

Muslims are also far more likely to vote for a Democrat, according to the study, which found 70 percent of Muslims lean Democratic while just 11 percent identify with Republicans. 

Pew researchers believe that there are two major factors contributing to the rapid growth of Islam. The first is that Muslims tend to have more children than other religious groups. Around the world, Muslim women tend to have an average of 3.1 children each, compared with 2.3 for all other groups combined.

Second, Muslims are also the youngest of all major religious groups, with the median age of 23 years old in 2010, according to the study.

Most of the growth is being seen in countries outside the Middle East. In fact, according to the study, the Middle East-North Africa region where Islam originated is only home to about 20 percent of the world’s Muslims.

Most Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region. Indonesia currently has the largest Muslim population, but Pew researchers estimate that India will take the top spot by the year 2050.

Researchers also predicted 10 percent of all Europeans will be Muslims by 2050.

The study comes the same week that Republican front runner Donald Trump caused a rift in his party, calling for a ban on all Muslims who wish to enter the U.S.

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