18% of Muslims in France by 2050? ‘These statistics are not reliable and only serve to stoke fear’

The Pew Research Center published a study estimating the number of Muslims in France by 2050. According to the study, France could have a 12-15% Muslim population in 2050. For Hervé Le Bras, demographer and historian, these figures “are not reliable and only serve to stoke fear.”

“This type of work prompts many debates and questions. First of all, how do you define a Muslim? To carry out these studies, the Pew Research Center considers Muslims to be all immigrants originating from a Muslim country and adds their descendants to these numbers. It’s a starting point that is already unrealiable in that a number of Muslims have mixed marriages and we cannot assume that the children born from these unions are all Muslims,” he noted.

When asked about the long term value of these statistics, he stated: “none.” Adding, “Already, in traditional demographic classifications, we have a tendency to be mistaken when we attempt to project these numbers into the long term. Take the statistics from INSEE: in 1994, the institute projected that France would have 60 million people in 2050. In 2014, INSEE revised the figure to 73 million. In twenty years, it considerably revised its figures, showing that the earlier projections were completely false.”


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