Friday, January 29, 2016

Islam in United States: Muslim population in America estimated at over 7 million

For years, there has been confusion over the population of Muslims in the United States of America  (USA).

In the past, most of the estimates suggested varying figures that ranged from 2.6 million to 5 million.

But other estimates suggest that the number could be well over 7 million--which is a big figure considering that the Muslims are settled mostly in urban areas in USA.

Even this is estimate was made more than four years ago. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) had estimated that there were 7 million Muslims in US. 

President Barack Obama had clearly said that there were 7 million Muslims in America. He said it in his famous speech, which was delivered in Cairo [Egypt] in the year 2009. Listen to the speech at this LINK

The focus on Muslim population is back after Donald Trump, who aspires to become US president, has made controversial comments, and announced that if elected, he would ban entry of Muslims in the country.

Though it is not clear how he aims to achieve the objective, Trump's comments have led to an uproar across the world. Right-wing xenophobes like Trump may rouse anti-Muslim sentiments, but Islam has been a part of American culture and heritage for long. 

PEW REPORT on Muslim population. LINK

In fact, already there are tens of millions of Muslims in the country. But the statistics are not official.

The reason for confusion over the population of Muslims in United States (US) was that the citizens' religious affiliations couldn't be asked for in census in USA, and hence, there was no accurate and official record about the size of Muslim community in America. 

It was believed that that the figure was between 3.3-5.7 million earlier. But, independent agencies and surveys conducted, and estimated on the basis of attendances at all the mosques, have led to the estimate.

In fact, the figure may be even higher. Though Islam has been part of American culture for ages, and there has been Muslim presence in the country from the 17th century, the Muslim communities grew in size only in 20th century.


New York is estimated to have the highest Muslim population. The estimate is between 6,00,000 to 1 million [6-10 lakh].

Though there is no official figure, here is an estimate of population in states that have higher Muslim percentage [SOURCE]

The earliest Muslim communities were the African-Americans and the Arabs.

In the later part of 20th century, Muslim population in US began increasing fast.

The reason has been consistent immigration from other countries.

Muslims from South Asia, particularly, India-Pakistan-Bangladesh and the Middle East have been immigrating to US in large numbers.

Though Muslims faced prejudices and mistrust post-9/11, yet this didn't stop Muslims from coming to America.

The number of Muslims has been going up because of asylum seekers and Muslims from conflict-prone regions and war-torn countries that are being granted citizenship. The Muslim countries that got maximum green cards issued are  Pakistan, Iraq,  Bangladesh, Egypt, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Morocco & Jordan.