Muslims in the United States
Muslims represent a large and growing religious group in the United States, with an estimated 2.6 million adherents in 2,100 mosques in 2010. Their numbers have increased by more than 1 million—67 percent—since 2000.
Muslims live in every state, but more than half reside in just four: Texas (421,000), New York (393,000), Illinois (359,000), and California (273,000). Vermont has the smallest total: 300 adherents in one mosque.
Most US Muslims were born overseas (63%). They come from at least 77 countries, with the largest shares from the band of countries stretching across North Africa and the Middle East to South Asia.
Demographically, Muslim Americans differ in noticeable ways from other Americans. Some differences, such as their younger age profile and male majority, reflect a pattern typical of immigrant populations. The younger age profile helps explain other differences, such as the higher percentage of students, the smaller share of homeowners, and the lower income distribution.
Already the largest non-Christian faith group in the country, factors such as immigration, younger ages, and higher-than-average childbearing virtually guarantee that the number of Muslims will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
Their increasing presence is an important marker of the changing religious landscape in the United States—and the opportunities and challenges that presents for Presbyterians as we seek to serve God faithfully in 21st-century America and to live into our denomination’s interfaith commitments.
Jack Marcum is coordinator of Research Services of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.