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A research has found that the Muslim population in Sweden and Denmark has doubled in 14 years.

As these two countries does not reveal religion base census, the researchers say it is important to know the reasons of stiff rise in Muslim population. They have attributed some of the reasons such as the reversal of immigration policy of ruling government in 2011, influx and conversion responsible for rise in Muslim population.

The research is carried out by Swedish journalists Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard have done an independent research. It has been published in “Dispatch International”.

Dispatch International has come out with the figure that shows 574,000 Muslims in Sweden and 256,000 in Denmark. The statistical uncertainty is roughly +/- 20,000 in Sweden and +/- 10,000 in Denmark. Muslims make up 6.05% of Sweden’s population and 4.59% of Denmark’s.

The research found that in 1998 there were 284,000 Muslims in Sweden and they made up 3.21% of the total population. The number of Muslims has roughly doubled over the period 1998-2011. During the same period, Muslim immigration and natural increase among Swedish Muslims have accounted for slightly over 41% of Sweden’s total population growth.

The Muslim share of Denmark’s total population growth 1998-2012 is markedly lower and accounts for a bit over 33%. In 1998 Denmark’s Muslim population was 153,000 and made up 2.88% of the total population. 

The need to carry out an independent research arose as there are no official figures available to indicate how many Muslims live in Sweden and Denmark. Both the countries have had to rely on wildly diverging estimates because the authorities refuse to publish statistics on religion or culture. Statistics Denmark and Swedish equivalent, Statistiska Centralbyrån, does not keep records of how many Muslims live in the two countries. They do, however, register how many people bear particular first names.

Research found that by January 1, 2012, Ali was a name shared by 3,776 and Mohammad by 3,717. The bearers of variations on the Mohammad name – such as Muhamad, Ahmed and Mahmoud – are registered separately. The most common Muslim names were Ali (9,062) and Mohamed (5,056).

Dispatch International says a number of Swedes and Danes have converted to Islam. In many cases converts have exchanged their Nordic names for Muslim ones, but not always.

It says that there are several indications that the Muslim growth rate is set to rise in both Denmark and Sweden. As one of its first actions the Social Democratic-led government that came to power in 2011 reversed some of the restrictions on immigration imposed by the former cabinet.  As for Sweden, the immigration authorities estimate an influx of 174,500 new immigrants over the coming two years. Most of these arrivals will probably be Muslims, as the largest groups of immigrants are likely to come from Somalia and Afghanistan.

(News Bharati)

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