25 Countries with the largest Muslim populations in the world

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25 Countries with the Highest Muslim Population in the World

After Christianity, Islam is the second most popular religion in the world, with more than 1.8 billion adherents, or over 24% of the world’s population. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim nation and is home to 229 million Muslims. Due to conversions, youth populations in many religious communities, and fertility rates, religious dynamics are quickly altering all around us. Islam is the religion in the world that is expanding the quickest, according to the PEW Research Center.

By 2050, the share of Muslims in the world’s population will come close to that of Christians, 10% of Europe will comprise of Muslims, and India will retain its Hindu majority but will surpass Indonesia to have the largest Muslim population in the world for any country.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the second largest intergovernmental organization in the world with 57 member states. 48 of these are Muslim majority countries, while the remaining are home to sizable Muslim minorities. Salaam Gateway, a leading platform tracking economy of the Islamic world, reported in 2017 that economies of OIC countries contribute 8.51% of the world’s GDP. Indonesia is the largest economy in the Muslim world, having a nominal GDP of $1.31 trillion. It is projected to be the fourth largest economy in the world by 2050. You can read more about economic projections for 2050 in our article, 20 Largest Economies in the World by 2050. In terms of GDP per capita, Qatar is the wealthiest Islamic country with an average Qatari earning $114,648 in 2022 according to the World Bank.

The share of the Muslim world’s contribution to the global economy is disproportionate to the size of their population, but the Islamic world offers immense potential with a wealth of natural resources. While Iran has the second largest proven natural gas reserves after Russia, estimated at over 1,133 trillion cubic feet, seven of the top ten countries with the largest share of oil reserves are OIC member states. A number of those oil rich countries are in the Middle East and Africa. One of these is Saudi Arabia, which is one of the largest exporters of oil in the world, and a founding member of OPEC. Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world by revenue, and is part of Fortune’s Global 500. In 2022, it generated $161 billion in profits, which is more than triple of what Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) earned that year. Other prominent exporters of oil include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Iraq.

Over the past century, several global corporations from the energy sector have invested in this region. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) has been operating in Saudi Arabia for the last 90 years and had a key role to play in the original Aramco, or Arabian American Oil Company, which is now Saudi Aramco. British Petroleum, or BP p.l.c. (NYSE:BP), has been in the Middle East for over a hundred years now. It was at the forefront of oil discovery in the United Arab Emirates in 1958, and today produces over 170,000 barrels of oil per day in Abu Dhabi. In March this year, BP p.l.c. (NYSE:BP) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) jointly offered $2 billion to acquire 50% of Israeli natural gas producer NewMed Energy.

South Asian and Southeast Asian muslim countries also offer opportunities to investors to tap into the natural resources as well as the huge markets that exist due to large populations in these countries. In 2018, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) returned to Pakistan after a gap of nearly three decades. It holds a 25% interest in a large offshore block located off the coast of Pakistan with significant exploration potential.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh. In 2021, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced setting up a datacenter in Indonesia that is projected to raise the company’s annual revenue by over $6 billion. The Malaysian government has also entered into a $1 billion deal with Microsoft Corporation Corporation (NYSE:MSFT), that will involve establishing several data centers in the country between 2021-2026. On the other hand, Samsung has begun manufacturing its top tier smartphone Galaxy S series in Bangladesh, and the Galaxy A series in Pakistan.

With that said, let’s head over to the list of countries with the largest muslim populations in the world.


We have ranked countries with the highest Muslim population in the world using figures released by the World Population Review. The list is sorted in ascending order of population size. Percentage of Muslim population as a share of the overall population has also been provided to give readers a better view of the predominant religion in these countries.

Here is the list of countries with the highest Muslim population in the world.

25. Senegal

Muslim Population: 15.1 million

Percentage: 96.1%

Located on the Atlantic Ocean coastline in West Africa, Senegal is a predominantly Muslim majority country with over 15 million people or 96.1% of the population identifying themselves as Muslim.

24. Malaysia

Muslim Population: 16.3 million

Percentage: 61.3%

Malaysia is a major economic power in Southeast Asia, famous for its beaches, rainforests and diverse culture. According to the World Population Review, it is home to 16.3 million Muslims.

23. Syria

Muslim Population: 16.7 million

Percentage: 93%

Next on our list is Syria, a Middle Eastern nation, where an estimated 16.7 million people or 93% of the population is Muslim.

22. Mali

Muslim Population: 17.5 million

Percentage: 95%

Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa, where Islam is the dominant religion. Currently, Muslims make up for about 95% of the country’s population.

21. Tanzania

Muslim Population: 19.4 million

Percentage: 35.2%

Known for its wilderness, Tanzania is a country in East Africa. More than 60% of its population is Christian, but the country has a sizable Muslim minority, estimated to be around 19.4 million in 2023 by the World Population Review.

20. Russia

Muslim Population: 20 million

Percentage: 13.5%

Russia has the largest Muslim population in Europe, estimated to be in the range of 20 million. Chechnya is a Russian republic located close to the Caspian Sea that is predominantly Muslim.

19. Niger

Muslim Population: 21.1 million

Percentage: 98.3%

According to the World Population Review, Niger is home to 21.1 million Muslims, which is 98.3% of the country’s population. It is located in West Africa and bordered by Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Mali.

18. Uzbekistan

Muslim Population: 26.6 million

Percentage: 96.5%

Former Soviet republic Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia. While Article 61 of the country’s constitution establishes it as a secular state, a large majority of its population is Muslim. It has the 18th highest Muslim population in the world with over 26 million Muslims.

17. Yemen

Muslim Population: 27.8 million

Percentage: 99.1%

Yemen is situated on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula and borders Saudi Arabia to the north. It is a predominantly Muslim country with over 99% of the population identifying themselves as Muslim. The country has suffered in recent times due to an ongoing civil war since 2014.

16. China

Muslim Population: 28.1 million

Percentage: 1.73%

China is the world’s most populous country. Despite the fact that only 1.73% of China’s population practices Islam as their religion, that still makes up for a big population estimated at 28.1 million by the World Population Review. While most Muslims belong to the Hui ethnic group, the largest concentration of Muslims in the country is in Xinjiang province dominated by Uighurs.

15. Saudi Arabia

Muslim Population: 31.2 million

Percentage: 97.1%

Saudi Arabia is the fifth most powerful Islamic country in the world and is home to some of the holiest Islamic sites, in Mecca and Medina. 31.2 million Muslims live in the country. It ranks 15th on our list of countries with the highest Muslim population. Saudi Arabia is a founding member of OPEC and one of the largest exporters of oil in the world.

14. Afghanistan

Muslim Population: 34.8 million

Percentage: 99.6%

An estimated 34.8 million Afghans identify themselves as Muslim. This is 99.6% of the country’s total population. Islam is the state religion in Afghanistan. The country has a theocratic government since 2021 when Ashraf Ghani’s government collapsed to advancing Taliban forces.

13. Ethiopia

Muslim Population: 35.6 million

Percentage: 33.9%

Ethiopia is a Christian majority country, but has the 13th largest Muslim population in the world with 35.6 million citizens practicing Islam as their faith. The country is known for its coffee, history and a diverse culture.

12. Morocco

Muslim Population: 37.9 million

Percentage: 99%

Morocco is a country in North Africa. 99% of the population identifies itself as Muslim. A vast majority of them belong to the Sunni school of thought. With almost 38 million Muslims, Morocco has the 12th highest Muslim population in the world. The country is a popular tourist location, and is known for its culture, architecture and the Atlas Mountains.

11. Iraq

Muslim Population: 38.5 million

Percentage: 95.7%

Iraq is an oil rich country located in the Middle East, with an estimated Muslim population of 38.5 million people, which accounts for 95.7% of the country’s population. The country is home to prominent religious sites for both the Shia and Sunni sects. Iraq is a key member of OPEC and is believed to have the fifth largest oil reserves in the world.


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Daily Dazzling Dawn is the first and only international and non-profitable newspaper, which is 100% ownership of professional journalists from Bangladeshi origin with 20 years of experience in global journalism. The main aim of the newspaper is promoting ethical journalism with truth, accuracy and proficiency.

Editor in Chief

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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