The number of children growing up as Muslims in the UK has almost doubled in a decade in what experts have described as an “unprecedented” shift in Britain’s social make-up.
One in 12 schoolchildren in England and Wales are now officially classed as Muslim after a decade which saw the number of followers of Islam surge by just over 1.1 million, according to the most detailed study of its kind ever published.
The report, presented to Parliament, concludes that Muslims could play a decisive role in the coming general election, expected to be the closest in recent times, making up a significant share of voters in some of the most marginal seats in the country.
But the study of official census data by the Muslim Council of Britain also concludes that the Muslim population will continue expanding for “many decades” to come – something experts said could transform everything from social attitudes to foreign policy.
Although immigration has driven growth in the past, it is the dramatically younger age profile of the Muslim population which could have the biggest impact in the future.
At a time when the wider population is ageing rapidly, half of British Muslims are under the age of 25 and a third are under 15…