2.2 Billion: World’s Muslim Population Doubles

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REUTERS/ Mohamed Azakir

Sunni Muslim supporters of Lebanon's former prime minister Saad al-Hariri wave flags during what they call "a day of anger" in Tripoli, northern Lebanon January 25, 2011

By 2030 the global population is set to reach over 8 billion and 26.4% of that population will be Muslim.

A report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life titled “The Future of the Global Muslim Population” projects that the number of Muslims in the world is set to double from 1.1billion in 1990 to 2.2 billion in 2030.

While these are impressive numbers, it actually indicates that the worldwide growth of Islam is “growing but slowing” as it will drop from a growth rate of 1.7% between 2010 and 2020 to 1.4% between 2020 and 2030.

Pew project that Pakistan is set to overtake Indonesia as the country with the world’s largest number of Muslim’s as it’s Muslim majority population pushes to over 256 million. The number in the U.S. will double to over 6.2 million while Afghanistan’s Muslim population is set to rise by almost 74% as the number rises from 29 million to 50 million, making it the country with the ninth largest Muslim population in the world.

(More on TIME.com: Why Egypt’s Outlawed Muslim Brotherhood Still Thrives.)

Better living conditions combined with increased life-expectancy in Muslim majority countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa, net migration and global population growth are given as the main factors driving the growth. Despite the projection, Muslims will remain a relatively small minority in the Americas and European countries and the Christian majority in these countries is expected to be just as impressive.

While Islam has experienced rapid growth in worshipers of all denominations, it is likely that it will not overtake Christianity as the most dominant world religion as the number of Christians is expected to also reach 2.2billion by 2030. Between them, these two major world religions will make up over half of the Global population at almost 33 per cent by 2030.

(More on TIME.com: Colorful Religious Festivals.)

“There has been a lot of speculation about the growth of the Muslim population around the world, and many of those who speculate don’t have good data,” said Brian Grim, a senior researcher at the Pew Forum. “Instead of a runaway train, it’s trending with the general global population.”

“This will provide a garbage filter for hysterical claims people make about the size and growth of the Muslim population,” Philip Jenkins, a religious history scholar in Christianity and Islam told the Washington Post.

Certainly with the world population set to reach 8.3 billion by 2030 the explosive growth of world religions is just as impressive. (Via CNN.)