7 Million Muslims? Maybe Not

Circling back to Obama’s speech for a moment, one number gave us pause. In his speech in Cairo Thursday, the … Continued

Circling back to Obama’s speech for a moment, one number gave us pause. In his speech in Cairo Thursday, the President referred to “7 million American Muslims in our country…”

Not quite, at least according to various independent studies of Muslim populations in the U.S. in recent years. The most recent survey, a 2007 report on Muslim Americans by the Pew Research Center, estimates a total Muslim population in the U.S. of 2.35 million (including children)–about 0.6 percent of the total U.S. population.

Other surveys come up with similar numbers. The General Social Survey, generally regarded as one of the most reliable barometers of social trends in the U.S., asks people their religion. Its estimate is 1.2 million adult Muslim Americans nationwide. And the 2001 American Religious Identification survey found the proportion of the adult population who identify themselves as Muslims to be 0.5 percent.

So where did the 7 million number come from? We’ve queried the White House but haven’t heard back from anyone yet. However, the Muslim community has long maintained that those survey results are much too low and that the total population of Muslim Americans, extrapolated from mosque members, is six million to seven million.

  • Paganplace

    Survey results are always something that some want to manipulate. Usually to say that there aren’t enough of one group or another to recognize. All indications in any instance are there are at least as many Pagans as Muslims in America. Whatever the number is. One million, six million, what does it take to constitute *enough to be American?* I thought that took… One.