One in 10 babies in England are now Muslims, census shows
LONDON (AFP) - Almost one in 10 babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim, according to new analysis of census figures published Friday, illustrating the growth of the minority community.
Some 317,952 children aged under five, or 9.1 per cent, were registered as being Muslim in the 2011 census, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.
As a measure of how the religious demographics of England and Wales are changing, the figure is nearly double the 4.8 per cent of the whole population who are Muslim, while fewer than one in 200 people aged over 85 are Muslim.
It is also an 80 per cent increase on the 176,264 Muslim under-fives recorded in the 2001 census. "It certainly is a startling figure," David Coleman, professor of demography at Oxford University, told The Times newspaper on Friday. "Continuing immigration from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India has been added to by new immigration from African countries and from the Middle East.