The Muslim population in Britain has grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4 million in just four years, according to official research collated for The Times. The population multiplied 10 times faster than the rest of society, the research by the Office for National Statistics reveals.
In the same period the number of Christians in the country fell by more than 2 million. Experts said that the increase was attributable to immigration, a higher birthrate and conversions to Islam during the period of 2004-2008, when the data was gathered. They said that it also suggested a growing willingness among believers to describe themselves as Muslims because the Western reaction to war and terrorism had strengthened their sense of identity.
Muslim leaders have welcomed the growing population of their communities as academics highlighted the implications for British society, integration, and government resources. David Coleman, Professor of Demography at Oxford University, said: “The implications are very substantial. Some of the Muslim population, by no means all of them, are the least socially and economically integrated of any in the United Kingdom… and the one most associated with political dissatisfaction. You can’t assume that just because the numbers are increasing that all will increase, but it will be one of several reasonable suppositions that might arise.”