Since 1960s immigrants from Muslim countries started to appear in Western European countries, such as Germany, France and Belgium. Although Muslim communities existed in the Old Continent long before this, especially in the Balkans, no major wave of immigration of Islamic population ever took place before.
Muslims are not a homogeneous group. They are of various national, ethnic and racial identities. Top countries of origin of Muslims in Western Europe are Pakistan, Turkey and the Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia).
In Western Europe, Muslims generally live in major urban areas, often concentrated in poor neighborhoods of large cities.
According to the Pew Forum, the total number of Muslims in Europe in 2010 was about 44 million (6%), excluding Turkey. The total number of Muslims in the European Union in 2010 was about 19 million (3.8%).
If the current rate of migration of Muslims to Europe and Muslims fertility rate remains, by 2030, Muslims are predicted to form about 10% of the French population and 8% of the European population.
The French capital Paris and its surrounding area has, by far, the largest number (up to 1.7 million according to the The Economist) of Muslims than any other city in the European Union.
Demographers forecast Marseille will be the first Muslim-majority city in Western Europe. Demographers forecast that Muslims will comprise the majority of the population of Brussels by 2030.
The table below lists large cities of the European Union with significant Muslim populations.
% Muslim (est.)
|City proper, Metro area|