The Growth Of Islam In Australia Since 1980
The world is currently undergoing a big change in terms of demographics. That is mostly a result of recent geopolitical issues, more specifically, immigration. Since the largest number of immigrants come from the Muslim population, it’s no wonder the religion of Islam is going through a period of rapid growth in the Western civilization.
In Europe, which is a geographically convenient area for Muslims from the Middle East, Islam has been on a rise for decades and is currently growing faster. But what about the isolated continent of Australia? Islam has always been somehow present in Australia to a smaller extent. Its expansion was stunned by strict immigration laws induced by the Australian government in the early 20th century, but after Australia started encouraging immigration, a large number of Muslims has been moving there. Since then, Islam is experiencing constant growth.
Since the beginning of the 1980’s, when there were approximately 77,000 Muslims and they consisted 0.5% of the entire population in Australia, every decade the Muslim population has almost doubled. Therefore, in 1991 Australia consisted of almost 150,000 or 1.2% Islam followers, and in 2001 the number grew to about 281,000, or in terms of percentage, 1.5%. Compared to data from 2010 and 2011, even though the Muslim population continued its fascinating growth, it slowed down to about 70% every 10 years. Consequently, Australia was home to just a little bit over 476,000 Muslims (approximately 2%) at the beginning of this decade. It was said that his kind of decrease in Muslims’ positive demographic trends is because most people coming from countries with a majority Muslim population simply do not possess the capital needed to even apply for an Australian citizenship.
However, newest population statistics show that since 2010, when Australia was home to about 450,000 Muslims, in 2017 the number surpassed 600,000, which made Islam the second biggest religion in the Commonwealth of Australia, just behind Christianity. That means over 2.6% of Australians identify themselves as Muslims, which is the highest percentage since the beginning of demographic research.
What are the reasons for the increase of Islam?
There are multiple reasons why Islam is one of the fastest growing religions not only in the world, but also in Australia. First of all, if we take a look at all demographic factors we could possibly take into consideration, it is highly evident that Muslim families give birth to more children than non-Muslim families. That kind of natality trend is the main trigger to Islam’s rapid rise, especially considering the fact that most non-Muslim families are giving birth to less children on average every year, which directly reflects on percentage data. Also, since most recent global issues result in extremely high immigration numbers specifically from Muslim nations, it is obvious that a large number of Muslims will try to shape their future in a developed country like Australia.
As more Muslims inhabitate Australia, its society takes better care of them. More mosques are built, more Muslim communities, Islamic traditions like Qurban is propagating etc (see more about Qurban FAQ). All of those factors support Islam’s quick rise.
In summary, Islam is experiencing a both rapid and stable growth in the Australian society. Even though it’s still less than 3% of the overall Australian population, it’s quite obvious Islam’s growth is stable and substantial. Therefore, Islam is only going to continue becoming a more important factor in Australian society.