Demographics of Islam

Islam is the world’s second largest religion after Christianity, with approximately 1.5 billion adherents—nearly a quarter of the global population. Islam dominates the religious landscape of the Middle East, North Africa, and large parts of Asia. Though the Arab world is often regarded as the historical heartland of Islam, Arabs comprise only about 20 percent of the world’s Muslim population, while about 30 percent come from the Indian subcontinent and the rest live in Asia outside the Middle East and the West. The country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia, home to about 13 percent of all Muslims worldwide. Islam is the largest religion in Africa, with a particularly strong presence in the North and West. Sizeable Muslim minorities exist in many countries, including Russia and China. Islam is the second largest religion in much of Europe, and Muslim communities exist in North and South America as well. By best estimates, 87-90 percent of Muslims are Sunni and 10-13 percent are Shi’a, with small numbers belonging to other sects.