January 10, 2014
Census figures reveal a ‘startling’ shift in Britain’s demographic trend with almost a tenth of babies and toddlers born in England and Wales being Muslim. The percentage of Muslims among the under-fives is almost twice as high as in the general population. Less than one in 200 over 85s are Muslims – an indication of the extent to which birth rate is changing the UK’s religious demographic.
The figures show there were 3.5 million children aged 0-4 of whom 320,000 were Muslim. That proportion is more than nine per cent and compares with a total Muslim population among all age groups of less than five per cent.
Professor David Coleman, Professor of Demography at the University of Oxford said: “We have had substantial immigration of Muslims for a long time. Continuing immigration from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India has been added to by new immigration from African countries and from the Middle East. Birth rates of Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin remain quite high, although falling. There seem to be very low levels of falling away from religion among Muslims.”
Christians remain the largest religious group among those aged 0-4, at 1.5 million, 43 per cent.