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Sun-Times/WBBM Religion Roundup: U.S. Muslim population to keep rising

Chicago Sunni Muslim Society in Albany Park. | Google Streetview

Islam is one of the world’s largest religions, with more than a billion Muslims across the globe, including hundreds of thousands in the Chicago area, where there are more than 80 mosques.

Now, a new study predicts steady growth of Islam across the country.

The U.S. Census doesn’t track who belongs to particular faiths, but the Pew Research Center tries — and its study estimates there were roughly 3.45 million Muslims living in the United States in 2017, or just over 1 percent of the total population.

The number of Muslims should grow to the degree that Islam could replace Judaism by 2040 as the nation’s second-largest religion, after Christianity.

According to Pew, “Religious conversions haven’t had a large impact on the size of the U.S. Muslim population largely because about as many Americans convert to Islam as leave the faith.”

The study, conducted by a researcher trained at the University of Chicago, found that about one in five “American Muslim adults were raised in a different faith tradition and converted to Islam,” and “a similar share of Americans who were raised Muslim now no longer identify with the faith.”

The study also found diversity in terms of the heritage of U.S. Muslims.

The Religion Roundup is also featured on WBBM Newsradio (780 AM and 105.9 FM) on Sundays at 6:22 a.m., 9:22 a.m. and 9:22 p.m. For more religion coverage, check out For tips and comments, email Robert Herguth at