A new study by the Pew Research Center projects the number of Muslims living in the United States will more than double from the current 3.3 million to about 8.1 million by the year 2050.
According to Pew, Muslims currently account for about one percent of the U.S. population. In the next 35 years, Muslims are projected to make up about 2.1 percent, and will become the second-largest religious group in the country well before then.
From the study:
In addition, our projections suggest the U.S. Muslim population will grow faster than the Hindu population and much faster than the Jewish population in the coming decades. Indeed, even before 2040, Muslims are projected to become the second-largest religious group in the U.S., after Christians.
Pew notes that more than half of the Muslim population growth is due to immigration.
Over the last 20 years, there has been an increase in the number of Muslim immigrants coming to the U.S. The number of Muslim immigrants currently represents about 10% of all legal immigrants arriving in the U.S., and a significantly smaller percentage of unauthorized immigrants.
Another major factor in the growth of the Muslim population the fact that they have more children than other groups of Americans, Pew continues.
The research think tank also claims that the number of Muslims who say they were raised in a home of a different faith or none at all (about one in five) is offset by the number of persons who were born into Muslim households but say they have left the faith. According to Pew, "About as many Americans become Muslim as leave Islam."