WASHINGTON - The United States is home to a diverse group of Muslims – of all ages, all ethnicities. They account for roughly 3.3 million of the nation’s 322 million inhabitants, slightly less than 1 percent.
Yet Islam is the fastest-growing religion globally and in the United States. The Pew Research Center estimates the American Muslim share of the population will double by 2050. Within that timeframe, Islam is expected to become the nation's second-largest faith, after Christianity, because of trends in fertility, age, migration and religious conversions.
Muslims have settled throughout the country, with their largest concentration – 3 percent – in the Atlantic state of New Jersey.
The Islamic Society of North America estimates the U.S. Muslim population's origins are divided in thirds, represented by those of South Asian, Arabic and African descent.
One in five U.S. Muslims either converted from a different faith or came from a nonreligious background.
Some 34 percent of Muslims earn less than $30,000 while 20 percent make over $100,000, Pew found, and a researcher for the Washington think tank called the economic data "most interesting."
"A lot of people are familiar with the affluent in the Muslim community who arrive here [in the U.S.] on special visas,” said Pew researcher Besheer Mohamed. "But there is a large component who come as refugees and convert who are struggling financially."
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