By: Aisha Gani
The Muslim population of England and Wales is growing faster than the overall population, with a higher proportion of children and a lower ratio of elderly people, according to an analysis of official data.
One in three Muslims is under 15, compared with fewer than one in five overall. There are also fewer elderly Muslims, with 4% aged over 65, compared with 16% of the overall population.
In 2011, 2.71 million Muslims lived in England and Wales, compared with 1.55 million in 2001. There were also 77,000 Muslims in Scotland and 3,800 in Northern Ireland.
The Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) study of data from the 2011 census found that Muslims are still a small minority of the overall population – one in 20. This contrasts with popular perceptions held by Britons, who overstate the proportion of Muslims in the country by a factor of four, according to a recent survey by Ipsos Mori.
Half the Muslims in England and Wales were born there and almost three-quarters (73%) identify themselves as British. Two-thirds of Muslims are ethnically Asian and 8% are white.