Islam in the UK: The Numbers

Free Hal, whose first guest-essay was posted here a couple of weeks ago, returns with an article about a frequently-discussed subject: the actual Muslim population in the UK.

UK Immigration

Determining a reliable figure for the number of Muslims in Britain is difficult for two reasons. First, the topic is considered impolite, politically incorrect, and generally off-limits, so that official statistics are hard to come by. Second, there are so many illegal immigrants into the UK that determining actual numbers would be all but impossible in any case.

But Hal has done his homework, and draws some conclusions based on the available data.

Islam in the UK: The Numbers
by Free Hal

How big is the Islamic population of Britain, and how fast it is growing?

Britain is generally considered have a population approximately 3% Muslim (by 2001 figures). France (10%), Netherlands (7%), Belgium (8%), and Sweden (5%) have higher percentage Islamic populations.

These are the general figures. But, being a sordid subject, neither it nor its implications are frequently analysed. 1.6 million has been the official UK figure for so long that the implication is that it won’t change much.

Talk of the growth of Islamic numbers in the UK is taboo. This in itself is evidence that the utopia of tolerance is shared by few outside official circles. No-one censors the mundane and irrelevant.

However, that figure is itself unreliable, and the growth rate has been fast, before and since.

And the more you analyse the figures, the more shocking they are.

There are two points to establish: the base figure, and the growth rate.

The base figure

The Office of National Statistics 2001 Census figures state is that there were 1.6 million Muslims in Britain, out of a population of 49.1 million. That figure has been criticized as artificially low because the section of the form asking about religion wasn’t compulsory (“10. What is your religion? This question is voluntary”). So people will have completed the census but left that part blank. It would certainly be interesting to see how big a proportion of the people who completed that section is represented by that 1.6 million. It will also be interesting to see if the question remains voluntary in 2011.

Fortunately, this official study can be supplemented by piecing together unofficial — but still liberal establishment in funding and tone — studies. You just have to root around to find them, and then spend a lot of time joining the dots. Their findings are surprisingly consistent:
– – – – – – – –

1.   The Guardian reported a figure of 1.8 million in 2002: The Guardian, June 17, 2002, ‘British Muslims’ series — A map of Muslim Britain, Appendix A, referred to in the George Soros’s ‘Open Society Institute’ report, ‘The Situation of Muslims in the UK’ (pdf). This figure chimes with the base figure of 1.7 million in 2001 plus 6.5% p.a. growth: 1.7 million + 6.5% = 1.8105 million.
2.   The Financial Times, in January 23, 2002, quoted Professor M Anwar, head of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick, that there were 1.8 million Muslims in the UK. This figure chimes with 1.7 million in 2001: 1.8 million — 6.5% = 1.683 million.
3.   Analysis commissioned by the MCB itself in 2001, based on the 1999 electoral roll, totalled the British Muslim population at 1.7 million.
4.   In 1997 The Runnymede Trust, “Islamophobia — a challenge for us all“ put the figure at 1.5 million. This figure works out to be roughly 1.8 million by 2000, given a 6.5% growth rate.

These figures correlate remarkably closely on a growth rate of about 6.5% a year: conservatively, 1.6 million in 2000 and about 1.7 million in 2001.

Plus the illegals.

Illegals are necessarily hard to count, let alone break down by religion, but the current official estimate is at least 750,000. If we put half the number of failed asylum seekers and people overstaying their visas as being Muslim (almost certainly a significant underestimate) then that swells the number of UK Muslims by 375,000.

This puts the number of Muslims in Britain, reasonably conservatively, at about 1.9 million in 2000.

Growth rate

The base figure is not nearly so important as the rate of growth. This is the alarming part, and the figures are consistent.

Whilst even commentators the most concerned about the growth of Islam in the UK put its growth in the UK at about 3%, the real growth rate, due largely to high birthrates and the importation of spouses and other relatives, is more than double that.

It has been for almost 6 decades.


Number of Muslims in Britain
In 1951 the Muslim population in Britain was about 23,000.
Ten years later, it was about 82,000 and by 1971 it was 369,000.
At present, there are an estimated 1.8 million Muslims in the UK, making Muslims the largest religious minority in Britain.

(Sources simply “Lancashire Mosques Organisation”, and “International The News. Newspaper”.)

See also the Hudson Institute:

British Islam

To analyze the nature and extent of Islamist ideological penetration in Britain, it is important to understand the demographic features of British Islam. Britain did not measure religion until the 2001 Census, and even then one’s religious affiliation was only a voluntary question. Britain did however measure migrants’ countries of origin and from these figures it is thought that the 1991 Muslim population was around 1.25 million. The 2001 Census indicated that 1.6 million people in England and Wales and just over 42,000 in Scotland identified themselves as Muslim. The voluntary nature of the question is likely to have led to a low figure and it is now thought that there are around 2 million.

Ceri Peach, “The Muslim population of Great Britain”, Ethnic and Racial Studies, estimated the number of British Muslims in 1991, perhaps conservatively, to be about 1,000,000.

Analysing these figures, the number of Muslims appears to have risen roughly as follows:

  • 13.5% p.a. between 1951 to 1961;
  • 16% p.a. between 1961 and 1971;
  • 5.5% p.a. between 1971 and 1991;
  • 7.5% p.a. between 1991 and 2001.

(It is possible that the acceleration between 1991 and 2001 was due to cheaper air travel, plus a general increase in immigration and asylum applications. However, I suspect that Peach’s estimate of 1 million British Muslims in 1991 was a slight underestimate and that the rate of increase has been about 6% to 7% (say 6.5%) from 1991 to 2001.)

6.5% is a very rapid rate of increase: doubling every 12 years. It is not hard to work out the implications of such a projected trend.

The different studies, quoted above, carried out between 1997 and 2002, corroborate each other on the basis of such a growth trend. The totals are consistent if one applies a 6.5% p.a. growth rate — please see above.

6.5% per year is also borne out by the most recent, if sensationally presented, story: “Muslim population ‘rising 10 times faster than rest of society’” at Times Online, January 30, 2009.

The numbers behind the headline further substantiate this already apparent growth rate:

The Muslim population in Britain has grown by more than 500,000 to 2.4 million in just four years, according to official research collated for The Times.


Experts said that the increase was attributable to immigration, a higher birthrate and conversions to Islam during the period of 2004-2008, when the data was gathered.

The growth from 1.9 million to 2.4 million in the 4 years from 2004 to 2008 is a growth rate of just over 6% per year, not including illegals, i.e. a doubling every 12 years. Plus illegals.


Switch on your calculator and enter the figure of 1.9 million in 2000. Then multiply it by 106.5%. And then multiply that by 106.5%. And again, and again…

By 2030 Britain is 20% Islamic (assuming the total British population stays at 2001 levels).

By 2045 the figure is 51%.


As an example of meaning of this warning, read about the growth of bacteria on a Petri dish, which should, judging by the first few hours, fill the entire laboratory within a few days, but never does. Or the 1960’s projection that ever cheaper fuel sources would result in sources of power ‘too cheap to meter’.

Trends are never rigid, and it is folly to use straight-line projections in a curved universe.

But it would be equal folly to assume that the only possible change in the trend is downward. Or to assume Micawber-like, that ‘something will turn up’. That trend — almost doubling every decade — has continued for the 50 years up to 2001. And then up to 2008.

Why will it stop?

If there is no good reason, then you should run the numbers, and ask whether it matters.

30 thoughts on “Islam in the UK: The Numbers

  1. At a certain point the increment of population becomes almost irrelevent, the factor then becomes jihadist density within that population, where the threat lies not in the headcount but in the commitment to jihad – the U.K. has crossed that population threshold by millions.

  2. Patrick Sookhdeo estimates the present number of Muslims in the UK to be around 4 million. This figure includes all Muslims – legal and illegals, as most of the illegals are not going to go back.

    We are in a state of war on many fronts. Nothing is predictable in such a state.

  3. Another way to count them is to look at the number of mosques today compared to 10 years ago, 20 years ago etc. This should provide a FAR more accurate count by extrapollating. If there were 50,000 muslims in 1970 with 100 mosquess, but today there are 1500 mosques, then it`s pretty easy to work out.

    Remember that Mulsims are taught to hide their numbers and use Taqiyya when they live amongst the infidel.

    You can be CERTAIN that the numner of muslims who actually put their relegion down in the census was somewhere between 50% and 70%. There is no way more than 70% of them put their religion down – given that they are instructed to hide their numbers, and I wouldnt be suprised if it`s a low as 50%.

    If that`s the case, the UK will have serious problems starting in about 15 years.

  4. Thanks to Solkhar, we can rest assured that Muslims would never lie about religion. In fact, according to him, the majority don’t even know what “takiyya” means.

    But Muslims do read the Quran night and day, often memorizing the entire tome. So does their holy book agree with Solkhar? Surah 16:106 says, “Those who are forced to recant while their hearts remain loyal to the Faith shall be absolved.” Surah 3:29 says, “Say: ‘Whether you hide what is in your hearts or reveal it, it is known to Allah.'”

    Of course, the hadith of Bukhari makes the vague notions of the Quran even more clear: “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.” (49:857)

    And finally, the Quran, the ahadith, and the life of the Prophet are all codified into Sharia Law which says quite clearly, “[it is] obligatory to lie if the goal is obligatory.. . . Whether the purpose is war, settling a disagreement, or gaining the sympathy of a victim legally entitled to retaliate. . . [I]t is not unlawful to lie when any of these aims can only be attained through lying. But it is religiously more precautionary in all cases to employ words that give a misleading impression . .” (Reliance of the Traveller, r8.2)


  5. Reverend Dr Sookhdeo’s opinions on Jihad, and many aspects of Islam are well founded. There is no reason to assume that he would lie to further an agenda, particularly on a relatively minor issue as to the extent of Muslims in the UK. The only agenda he would have is to steer Muslims away from an ideology that is destructive – and he does so with compassion and kindness.

    Even the most cursory examination of the streets of Britain indicate that the number of 1.6m Muslims in the UK is a gross underestimate. Going again by the numbers of Muslims one sees on the street compared to the year 2000, I would estimate 4 million is a pretty good estimate.

  6. GOK wrote: If that`s the case, the UK will have serious problems starting in about 15 years.

    I hope not. It is my sincere wish that such a problem can be averted without conflict.



    1.63 X 0.8975 = 1.46
    4.8 X 0.1025 = 0.49
    1.46 + 0.49 = 1.95

    SO IF IT ACTUOLY WAS 3% IN 2001 ITS 10% NOW.

  8. I believe that the official numbers are covered up simply because there are far more mahoundians in Europe than the politicians or authorities are willing to admit. Take a walk around downtown Stockholm or Malmö at daytime (working hours) and you will find that the place is virtually flooded by mahoundians which was not the case only 10 years ago. It’ll be safe to assume it is pretty much the same in any western european larger town or city. Keeping the mahoundians statistical numbers down is only to made to keep the local ethnics in their coma so that they don’t wake up to the harsh reality and actually starts voting in parties that actually care about their country and the natives.

  9. TO Robin Shadowes.
    SWEDEN – 12.5% (TRF: AT SOME POINT WAS 1.66 IN 2008 1,91)
    DENMARK – 6% (TRF: AT SOME POINT WAS 1.74 IN 2008 1.89)
    FRANCE – 20%(TRF: 1994 1.66 2008 2.02)
    BRITAN – 10%(TRF 2001 1.63 2009 1.95)

  10. My best estimate is that there are between 3 and 4 million Muslims in the UK in 2009. This number seems to be in line with there growing influence in the UK. There are about 30 Million Muslims in EU-27 now (6% of the population.) At an immigration of 1.3 Million per year for the next 15 years, there will be at least 50 Million Muslims in Eu-27 in 2020. These numbers are likely to be on the low side, due to the massive (north) African migration plan migration plot

    More to the point, there are another 8 million Muslims in Bosnia, Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia, and they will probably join the EU by 2020. Adding Turkey to that (which will have 80+ Million by 2020) means that the EU is poised to add 90 Million Muslims in new member states, and at least 20 Million Muslims from elsewhere. This means that by 2020, Muslims will likely be 20-25% of the total population of the EU, and they will make up close to 50% of the EU Population under age 15!

    I expect to see the Shariah in the West as a major social issue in the EU, starting around 2020.

    By the way, Solkar, the problem is Leftist appeasement of Shariah and the Caliphate. ‘Radical’ Muslims are relatively harmless in Yemen, Pakistan, and Nigeria to the West.
    However, when they come to the West, Leftists cater to their demands in an astounding way. That is why I am concerned about the Eurabian Caliphate.

  11. Words words words… everybody forgets that to begin with, Muslims beliefs are so obsessive and self- delusional that they are essentially clinically insane.

  12. The more I read by Solkhar I believe that he is a fifth column or trojan horse whose only purpose is to lull the native european kuffaar to sleep, sending the message that there is nothing to worry about. Everything will be just fine. Of course it will be fine (for them, not us), once they have taken over and has by then either converted us to mahoundians (many will probably go along out of fear for that will become of them and their families), submitted us dhimmis (many will probably prefer this to death) and simply has exterminated the stubborn rest of us. Then everything will be just swell with shariah chopping, submitting to allah and all that. For the kafirs who live long enough to see this come to fruition, it will be nothing less than HELL ON EARTH!!!!

  13. I will try to publish the link again here about the secret plot (by the EU) to let mass migration from (North Africa) occur.


    The first Caliph will probably be a garden variety Sunni who believes in the Caliphate and implementing the Shariah (duh), maybe someone like Yusuf Al-Qaradawi [He is too old too be alive then]. I think he may just leave the decision of what school of Shariah to apply in the hands of the Ulama (Knowledgeable Shariah Jurists)–they might apply different schools in different provinces; he will have enough problems in preventing Fitnah (strife) among all the Muslims at the start.

    I think that Solkar is a Western Diplomat, and western diplomats find it hard to grasp changes to the world as we know it.

    Alas, there is a very good reason why Solkar is misinformed — he does not yet understand what the “governing class” will do and why they will do it. Believe me, NO ONE will be more surprised than they are, as they discover they are about to be executed. I will try to give a simple explanation in a subsequent post soon.

    I will title it

    Explanation: The Communist Prophecy

  14. I tried to post the link again:


    Anyway PC = Political Catastrofy, could you give me that wikipedia link? My calculations put the Muslim fertility rate a bit lower, but I had an article that showed it is likely rising.

  15. I agree Robin Shadowes, no-one can be as naive as Solkhar, he sounds reasonably educated,though having said that how many of our politicians have benefitted from a decent education and are totally ignorant of the threat from radical Islam.

    Solkhar, a few questions:

    (1)For what purpose do you think Muslims are emigrating to Europe? – where they must live amongst infidels?
    (2) What do you think ‘Islam will dominate Britain/the World’ means?
    (3)Do you believe a time will come when Muslims will decide that they should tolerate infidel culture and stop demanding that the host nation adapt its culture to theirs, and
    (4)do you think it likely that a time will come when Islam feels it has so damaged Western culture that they rein in their demands and practices?
    As to western governments accepting radical Islamic demands for Sharia, do you not understand that Western governments will eventually be filled with Muslims? there is no way to stop them, they already control whole swathes of some European cities and councils, so what then? Also, what possible advantages could Western rightwingers gain from pointing to the possibility of Sharia Law being imposed in Britain?

    You must surely know that Islam will never voluntarily leave any nation because it’s law forbids it, hence their demand for the ‘return’ of Spain and their inability to accept Infidels(Jews) in Israel.
    Just a few things for you to ponder…

  16. Robin Shadowes wrote: Take a walk around downtown Stockholm or Malmö at daytime (working hours).

    As I also noted – just a cursory examination of the streets in any major city in the UK, reveals that the Muslim population is atleast 3 times of what it was in 2000. This means at the minimum 4 million. Now this in itself would not be alarming if the immigrant population was Hindu. However, being Muslims, they make inordinate demands that local customs must give precedance to islamic mores. This is backed up by an implied threat of violence – senior Muslims say they will not be able to control the young men. This is blackamil pure and simple. However politicians have to chase votes, so they cave in.

    GOK wrote: If that`s the case, the UK will have serious problems starting in about 15 years.

    That I’m afraid is where we are headed. I remain hopeful though that major civil strife can be avoided.

  17. Solkhar, thank you for your response, and yes it does clarify some things, it also confirms some of the issues that I had regarding your posts.
    Your concerns appear to be that we here understand that we should not be uneasy about millions of ‘basic’ Moslems living in Europe because any trouble stems from the ravings of lunatic radicals. This is a common response to any alarm caused by the changes we are already experiencing. The fact is Solkhar, that in Britain alone many minor and in seemingly trivial changes have already been made to appease ‘basic’ Moslems. We are acutely aware that Moslems will not integrate because they do not accept the concept, even in their own homelands. Host nations will inevitably have to accept the diminishing of their own culture and we understand that this is how Islam ‘progresses’. Westerners don’t like this infringement upon our rights most especially because Moslems are not prepared to reciprocate the tolerance and compromises they receive; we like European culture and don’t want Islam to infiltrate and establish itself here because it is immature and static, the proof of which is demonstrated by, as you yourself say, “ those (best) opportunities are in Europe” i.e. they need to emigrate in order to progress – but then demand we submit to their regressive values and culture.
    You did not respond to a very crucial point contained in my question regarding the inevitability of Western governments becoming Islamic because of the demographic changes detailed in the article; this demographic change is pretty well irreversible, but you seem to be saying that because they are simply basic Moslems seeking education etc, we should not be alarmed? But we know from the demands of the existing Moslem population which is 2nd and 3rd generation British, that they are relentless in their demands for their Islamic ‘rights’. Once they have solid representation in Parliament what chance that any Moslem parliamentarian is going to reject demands for reform from their constituents and instead strive to uphold Judeo-Christian and Western values? Do you not see why concerns over demographic change are a major concern to the West? Or do you think we should we adapt to living amongst them accept their law and culture being transplanted to our countries? You choose to live amongst Moslems, we do not. Perhaps you are Moslem, we are not.
    As I anticipated, your responses appear to be an attempt to lull us into complacency about the millions of Muslims pouring into our homelands. Be assured, we are not complacent.

  18. Solkhar, I’m not going to get into a discussion with you about radicals /non radicals with regard to Moslems. You have your point of view (which I believe is incorrect) and I have mine. Nothing can convince me that Islam has any choice but to spread its ideology worldwide, I say this because it is demanded of every devout Muslim to struggle for this end and I can read and see what is happening around the world. It’s not a secret or a stealth invasion, the Koran is available to all, Islamic leaders proclaim their intention. I find it remarkable that you seem to think that Islam is not an ideology that seeks progress through conquest or invasion, Islam is a totalitarian ideology disguised as a religion and it is this fact that has led tolerant (but foolish)Western governments to permit it to infiltrate. But perhaps you are practicing deceit , you cannot be that uninformed that you cannot see that Islam is deliberately moving into Europe and that this is in obedience to their (your?)God’s fiat. Instead of acknowledging this you blame a minority of radicals and the British government for the state of affairs in Britain. Am I then to understand that you also blame every European government; France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and more, the Indian governments who over the centuries have experienced approximately 80 million of their Hindu population massacred at the hands of the practitioners of the religion of peace, the North American governments: USA, Canada, Mexico, the Australian and New Zealand governments and all Scandinavian governments of which we speak of here quite often. You are surely aware that all of these nations are also undergoing Islamic immigration at different levels of ‘progress’, but all similar to what Britain is going through. I imagine that you would also blame just a few radicals in these countries for the terrorism & murders, irrational demands, cultural transformation, educational transformation, riots etc. that to varying degrees all these countries are encountering as the religion of peace integrates. It is not just the radicals, it is not just the governments, it is worldwide, it is Islam.
    I Thank you for your responses and will read check back for your reply, but it is quite pointless to continue discussing this with you.

  19. Explanation: A Communist Prophecy

    To answer Solkar the Diplomat, the article I posted mentioned that

    “The first was the job centre opened in Bamako, capital of Mali, on Monday. Other centres are expected to open soon in other west African states and later in north Africa.”

    Since the new centers are going to be opened in West and North Africa, most of the workers will be Muslims. Most will probably come from the Sahel, followed by Egypt.

    Now to the issue of “why would Western governments concede to such agressive demands by ‘radical’ Muslims?” Also, Solkar states,

    ‘I also see a point when the West will ask Imams from the Muslim World to come and help sort-out the radicalized communities in the West in conjunction with the necessary purge of radical clerics there.’

    A very sensible notion– but, alas, don’t be so sure– things become clear when one understands what I write next. Pay attention– these facts are very hard to absorb.

    When Marx started Communism, he laid out a series of economic predictions. By the 1920’s EVERY ONE of his economic predictions had been proven WRONG– and the Communists knew it. They needed an explanation of why things were not working out as they said they would.

    V.I.Lenin and Rudolf Hilferding blamed all the continued successes of Capitalism and failures of Communist predeictions on one thing– ‘Western Imperialism’ (Colonialism, or “Western Hegemony”).

    Thus, ‘Western Imperialism’ was the reason why Communists could NOT achieve their ‘paradise on earth’. Thus, the Communists were against Capitalism and ‘Imperialism’ during the cold war.

    Then came the Western Cultural Revolution {1963-1979} which in a nutshell, overturned many Western customs, told Westerners their society was evil, and started brainwashing Westerners to believe that “Western Imperialism” was the cause of ALL the world’s problems.

    Meanwhile, a hero-warrior–Ronald the Magnificent– arose, and by attacking and discrediting all of the Communists’ beliefs, turned the tide in the Cold War against the Communists. When the Communists saw the working people protesting in the streets in Eastern Europe during the “Velvet Revolution” they were shattered, and Communism unraveled. This was a great victory for all mankind.

    However, the “secular progressives” (a variant of Communism), still wanted to believe in their ‘virtual religion’. They thus dusted off a Communist ‘prophecy’ and believed it more fervently than ever. The ‘prophecy’ stated that it was their duty to ‘struggle’ against ‘Western Imperialism’. The ‘prophecy’ stated that one day, NON-WESTERNERS would join them in the ‘struggle’ against ‘western imperialism’.

    By doing what these non-western GUIDES said (since they understood what westerners could NOT see), ‘Western Imperialism’ would finally be defeated, and then the glorious ‘paradise on Earth’ would come into being.

  20. Well, the ‘radical’ Muslim leaders came, preaching jihad, shariah, and the Caliphate. The “secular Progressives” became ‘starry-eyed’, and asked them “are you [jihadis] believers in ‘struggle’ against ‘Western Imperialism’? The jihadis said, “yes, we believe in ‘struggle’ against Western Imperialism to set up the Caliphate and implement the Shariah.” The Leftists jumped for joy, and thought “At LAST! HERE are our GUIDES that will lead us to victory over ‘Western Imperialism’ and usher in ‘paradise on Earth’!! We MUST give them what they want (which was and is Shariah, Shariah, and more Shariah).

    The Lefitsts don’t understand anything about Islam, or what the ‘radicals’ want. However, they firmly believe that the ‘radical’ Muslims [like Qatada, Hamza al-Masri, and Anjem Choudary] are the GUIDES THEY HAVE WAITED FOR to tell them what they must change. By changing what they say to, the Leftists believe that they will bring about a ‘paradise on Earth’.

    Thus, the idea of the West coming to a time when “some tough decisions and laws are made AND the radicals are taken out of the picture by expulsion, threat or actual detention and an effort to reeducate the radicalised mass” is a pipe dream until the “leftist governing class” is removed from power.

    Otherwise, the “Leftist governing class” will JOYFULLY [though insanely] give the ‘radical’ Muslims concessions to Shariah hand-over-fist. I am convinced that NOTHING builds support among the illiterate ‘sheep’ Solkar talks about more than the fact that ‘radical’ Imams and Sheikhs say things are are considered by the Muslim masses to be ‘out there’ and then they see the Western governments do NOTHING ABOUT IT. They think, well, he sounds radical, but it looks like he might be right after all (about the Caliphate and Shariah).

    Another factor is the destruction of patriotism in the EU. This leads many young European Muslims to an identity crisis. They wonder “Who am I??? — I don’t feel Pakistani, but I certainly don’t feel British!!” Along come Salafists and say, “You are a member of the Ummah, and your cause is to implement the Shariah and bring back the Caliphate!” And many, many youths flock to this– a Western Diplomat of mature years has great difficulty understanding the appeal of ideology to young adults.

    This is a story that illustrates the differences of how the West handles Islamism vs. how the Muslim world handles it.
    Swimsuit row in Egypt

    Thus, the Caliphate is a real possibility in the EU, though not in the “Muslim world”, in the next few decades.

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