May 20, 2020 / 2:46 PM / 9 days ago

Partly false claim: Map predicts Muslim population in Europe in 2050

Social media users have been sharing an image online of a map which claims to show the predicted population of Muslims in Europe in 2050. The map shows a high density of Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Examples can be found here and here .

The map does not give a source. It includes an image of the Islamic crescent moon and star.

A Google search reveals a report by the Pew Research Center from November 2017, titled “Europe’s Growing Muslim Population”. The report presents growth projections for Muslims in Europe based on zero migration, medium migration and high migration. The report displays the three scenarios using a map of Europe, with the projected percent of Muslims among the total population in each country. ( here )

It is true that the Pew Research Center projects the Muslim population in Europe to rise. But some of the figures listed in the social media claim are unsubstantiated and the claims pick Pew’s highest migration prediction model.

The starting point is mid-2016 where the Muslim population in Europe stood at 4.9% overall, with Cyprus, Bulgaria, France and Sweden showing the highest figures ( here ).

The percentages in the claim match most closely with the Pew Research Center’s high migration estimation scenario ( here ). Countries like Ireland (4.4%), United Kingdom (17.2%), Finland (15%), Austria (19.9%), Switzerland (12.9%), Croatia (2.1%), Slovakia (0.7%), Poland (0.2%), Latvia (0.4%), Lithuania (0.2%), Romania (0.9%) and Bulgaria (11.6%) are identical on both maps.

Some of the percentages of other countries differ slightly in the social media claim. For example, France is shown at 18.2% in the claim and 18% in the report by Pew Research Center.

In the claim, the countries with the highest density of Muslims in 2050 are Bosnia and Herzegovina (56%), Montenegro (24%), Kosovo (98.9%), Albania (65%), Macedonia (44%) and Serbia (5.3%). The map from the report by the Pew Research Center does not identify these countries in its count ( here ).

Malta has a significantly higher percentage in the claim at 32%, versus the Pew projection of 16.2%.

At the time, various news outlets covered this report. Examples can be seen here , here and here .

The claims on social loosely copies some values from the high migration scenario map in the report by the Pew Research Center, while other numbers are unsubstantiated.


Partly false. The map in the claim seems to be an altered version of a map showing a high migration projection from the 2017 “Europe’s Growing Muslim Population” report by the Pew Research Center.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here . 

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