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Muslims Will Replace Jews As America’s Second-Largest Religious Group By 2040

The Muslim religious population in the United States will be larger than the Jewish religious population by 2040, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

Earlier this year, Pew estimated that are currently 3.45 million Muslims by religion of all ages in America, around 1.1% of the U.S. population. In 2013, Pew estimated that there were 6.7 million Jews of all ages in America, though only 4.2 million adults who identify as “Jews by religion” (that number does not include children or “Jews of no religion,” such as atheists or non-affiliated people raised by a Jewish parent).

By 2050, Pew said, the population of “Muslims by religion” will reach 8.1 million, or 2.1% of the U.S. population.

Pew said in its latest that the rise in the Muslim population would be driven by American Muslims’ relatively high birthrates, as well as the continued migration of Muslims to the United States (although changes in immigration policy could affect those numbers).

In addition to higher birthrates than Jews, Muslims appear to be less likely to marry outside the faith: Only 13% of Muslims have a non-Muslim spouse, compared to 36% of Jews having a non-Jewish spouse.

Update, January 8: The original version of this article compared Pew’s survey of self-identified “Muslims by religion” with a Jewish population that included both “Jews by religion” and “Jews of no religion.” It has been updated to more accurately compare the Muslim and Jewish populations.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

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