The study notes that "previously published estimates of the size of the global Muslim population have ranged widely, from 1 billion to 1.8 billion." The Pew study pegs the number at 1.57 billion (23 percent of the total global population of 6.8 billion). There are 2.25 billion Christians. Some facts about the world's Muslim population might surprise you:
- India has more Muslims than any country except for Indonesia and Pakistan..
- China has more Muslims than Malaysia (or Syria).
- Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon.
- And Russia has more Muslims than Jordan and Libya put together.
- 15% of all Muslims live in sub-Saharan Africa and another 15% live in Southeast Asia.
Of the total Muslim population, 10-13% are Shia Muslims and 87-90% are Sunni Muslims. Most Shias (between 68% and 80%) live in just four countries: Iran, Pakistan, India and Iraq.Graphic: Pew designed an impressive interactive map -- see here. A "weighted" map is here.
In four countries - Iran, Azerbaijan, Bahrain and Iraq - Shia Muslims make up a majority of the total population.