As of 2015, the old continent has witnessed a record number of 1.3 million migrants that applied for asylum in the European Union. The influx of migrants from middle eastern countries has transformed the landscape in recent years. A recent study published by the Pew Research Center on November 29 estimated for the populations to grow by the year 2050.
The analysis from the American nonpartisan think tank was based on a set of projections. It does not serve as a predictor, but what could happen under different circumstances.
For all three modeled scenarios explained in the study, the Muslim population in Europe as of mid-2016 was approximately 25.8 million. In 2010, the Muslim population was estimated at 19.5 million.
Muslims make up just five percent of the population in Europe. In the event that migration would be completely halted it would grow over time.
“Even if all migration into Europe were to immediately and permanently stop – a ‘zero migration’ scenario – the Muslim population of Europe still would be expected to rise from the current level of 4.9 percent to 7.4 percent by the year 2050.”
The study goes on to explain that the growth of Muslims is because they are younger (by 13 years on average). In addition, they have higher fertility rates than other Europeans.
The recent crises in the Middle East combined with the Syrian civil war have changed the Europe on several levels. It has changed population patterns, shifted the rhetoric towards these groups, and influenced a new wave of politics.
The second model migration scenario assumes all refugee flows will stop as of the middle of 2016. However, if the recent levels of regular migration to Europe are maintained Muslims could reach 11.2 percent of Europe’s population by the year 2050.
The third scenario proposes that a record flow of refugees into Europe between 2014 and 2016 continue indefinitely into the future. Also, add the typical annual arrival of regular migrants and Muslims could make up 14 percent of Europe’s population by 2050.
The refugee flows from over the course of a few years have been unprecedented. According to the research, the surge in migration has been extremely high compared to the historical average in recent decades.
The research compiled was based on census and survey data, population registers, immigration data, and others. It included the 28 European Union members, Norway, and Switzerland.
As stated by the Washington Post, not all the countries would be affected evenly by the future immigration.
“In the high migration scenario, Germany and Sweden would have the biggest increases because both countries took in the most asylum-seekers during the height of the refugee crisis two years ago.”