Figures in the Courtyard of a Mosque, by Edwin Lord Weeks

Figures in the Courtyard of a Mosque, by Edwin Lord Weeks

Fertility of Muslims in Europe

We know that native Europeans have low fertility rates. The fertility rates are so low that the population shrinks, it is below the replacement rate of 2.1. The situation is different for the Muslim population in Europe. Rather than shrinking, births alone cause the Muslim population to increase by 66% by 2050 in the EU, Norway and Switzerland. The Muslim fertility rate is very healthy and allows their numbers to grow.

In a zero migration scenario, the Muslim population grows from 25 million to 35 million by 2050. At the same time, the native population shrinks. Considering there is a severe difference between the two groups here, let’s review the data.

The Data on Muslim Fertility

The table below shows us the fertility rates for European countries, split between Muslims and non-Muslims. The data is not adjusted for socio-economic factors. The point of the table is not to show that Muslims have more children, because they are Muslim. The point is simply to show that Muslims currently living in Europe will form a group growing in size, due to their fertility rates. We observe the correlation, without making claims as to why this is happening.

Ireland is the only country in Europe where non-Muslims have a higher fertility rate than Muslims. In every other country Muslims have a higher fertility rate.

In Europe, Muslims projected to have more children than non-Muslims

The Replacement Rate

Even within Muslim communities in Europe, the fertility rate is sometimes below the replacement rate. The replacement rate is generally considered to be 2.1 children per woman. Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece have Muslim groups that are below the replacement rate. A reason for this may be the origin of the Muslim communities in these countries. The Balkans know a Muslim population that is a leftover from the Ottoman empire, consisting of natives that converted centuries ago. Many of such Bosnians fled to Germany and form a sizeable part of their Muslims groups.

It is interesting that despite having below replacement fertility rates, their rates are still higher than the average for the rest of the country.

The Growth

What do Finland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria have in common? They all have Muslim populations that are growing in size, excluding immigration. They also all have shrinking native populations.

Given enough time, if these fertility rates remain the same, there will be Muslim majorities in these countries. This will happen even with zero immigration. The group of Muslims continues growing, the group of non-Muslims continues shrinking. There is a point where the Muslims will surpass the non-Muslims. When Lebanon became a country, it had a Christian majority. Within decades, the Christians had turned into a minority and the country descended into civil war.

Will It Change?

Of course these rates can still change. Muslim fertility rates across the world have lowered as living circumstances changed and their societies became more urbanized. Similar changes that have lowered the rates in Europe, are lowering them for Muslims. However, a difference seems to remain, where Muslim rates are a bit higher.

Moreover, as the Muslims arrive from countries with higher fertility rates, it always takes a few generations to adjust. By having a constant flow arriving into the countries of Europe, an overall higher fertility rate for Muslims will persist.

Mother with Child, by Abidin Dino

Mother with Child, by Abidin Dino

The Replacement

As long as Europeans have a below replacement fertility rate, and Muslims have an above replacement fertility rate, the non-Muslims of Europe will slowly fade away. They will have never been born, while Muslims will be born.

Rather than letting faith decide to see if Muslim fertility rates really do change, Europeans would have to work towards increasing their own rates. That is, unless they are okay with Europe turning into a Muslim majority area. Again, let us emphasize that if current trends continue, Europe will become a Muslim majority region.