Muslims in America Today

Number of Muslims in the U.S. continues to grow

Number of Muslims in the U.S. continues to grow. Pew Research Center, used with permission.

Muslims in the US today are an incredibly diverse population. Pew Research Center conducted a 2017 survey of Muslims living in the US and estimated that there are about 3.45 million Muslims living in the US, making up approximately 1% of the population.1 Approximately 76% of US Muslims are immigrants or the children of immigrants, while the remaining quarter are US born with US-born parents, meaning that Muslims are three times more likely to be immigrants compared to the total US population.2 

  1. Pew Research Center, “U.S. Muslims Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream,” 30, 46, https://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/findings-from-pew-research-centers-2017-survey-of-us-muslims/.

  2. Pew Research Center, “U.S. Muslims Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream,” 31, https://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/findings-from-pew-research-centers-2017-survey-of-us-muslims/.

Most U.S. Muslim adults are immigrants

Most U.S. Muslim adults are immigrants. Pew Research Center, used with permission.

Muslim immigrants come from all over the world, with the two largest regions of origin South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa.3 However, no one country contributes more than 15% of Muslim immigrants to the US, and 42% of all American Muslims are US-born.4 Additionally, 82% of Muslims in the US are citizens, including both US-born and naturalized immigrants.5 Finally, US Muslims are racially and ethnically diverse: 41% identify as white, a category that includes those who describe their race as Arab or Middle Eastern, 20% as Black, and 28% as Asian.6 Of American Muslims who are US born to US-born parents (third-generation), 51% are Black.7 Furthermore, these statistics do not capture the rich cultural diversity of American Muslims and religious diversity of belief and practice among American Muslims.

  1. Pew Research Center, “U.S. Muslims Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream,” 32, https://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/findings-from-pew-research-centers-2017-survey-of-us-muslims/.

  2. Pew Research Center, “U.S. Muslims Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream,” 32, https://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/findings-from-pew-research-centers-2017-survey-of-us-muslims/.

  3. Pew Research Center, “U.S. Muslims Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream,” 34, https://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/findings-from-pew-research-centers-2017-survey-of-us-muslims/.

  4. Pew Research Center, “U.S. Muslims Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream,” 35, https://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/findings-from-pew-research-centers-2017-survey-of-us-muslims/.

  5. Pew Research Center, “U.S. Muslims Concerned About Their Place in Society, but Continue to Believe in the American Dream,” 35, https://www.pewforum.org/2017/07/26/findings-from-pew-research-centers-2017-survey-of-us-muslims/.

Muslim Women at Iftar

There are also a number of Muslim women’s organizations, a burgeoning Women’s mosque movement, and groups working to address issues such as domestic violence within the Muslim community.8 The Women’s Mosque of America “seeks to uplift the Muslim community by empowering women and girls through more direct access to Islamic scholarship and leadership opportunities.”9 They don’t seek to replace existing mosques, but create a complementary space that is for women, by women.10 Muslims have also formed groups that work to address issues such as domestic violence from within the Muslim community, including the Peaceful Families Project, HEART, and Project Sakinah that seek to ensure everyone in the Muslim community has the support and resources they need.11

  1. The Women’s Mosque of America, https://womensmosque.com/; Doreen Carvajal, “Finding a Place in Women’s Mosques,” New York Times, March 8, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/world/europe/imams-womens-mosques.html;  Allyson Escobar, “Women-Led Mosque Opens to Build Place Where ‘Everybody is Welcome,’” NBC News, April 17, 2017, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/women-led-mosque-opens-build-place-where-everybody-welcome-n746791.

  2. “About,” The Women’s Mosque of America, last accessed September 22, 2020, https://womensmosque.com/about-2/.

  3. “FAQ,” The Women’s Mosque of America, last accessed September 22, 2020, https://womensmosque.com/faq/.

  4. Peaceful Families, https://www.peacefulfamilies.org/; HEART, https://hearttogrow.org/; Project Sakinah, http://projectsakinah.org/.