Will there be enough Muslim voters in the United States in 20 years to elect a president? No, that's not true: The Muslim population in the United States is predicted to be about 3,850,000 during the 2020 presidential race -- less than 1% of the total -- and should be about 6,610,00 during the 2040 race 20 years later, far fewer than the number necessary to elect an American president, according to a non-partisan, non-religion-affiliated study.
A "warning" that the number of Muslim voters in the United States would reach a level high enough in 20 years "to elect a president" began circulating on social platforms in March 2019, usually in the form of memes, including a post (archived here) published on May 13, 2019. This meme, which included several spelling errors, read:
WARNINGIn twenty years there will be enough MUSLIM VOTERS in the Uinted STates to elect a President.Every American should be required to read this, but with the ACLU there is no way this will be widely publicized, unless we share this message. This is your chance to make to make a difference!
This is what social media users saw:
Other variations on the false claim include:
According to a study by the Pew Research Center on population distribution of religions, out of a population of 310,380,000 people living in the United States in 2010, there were 243,0606,000 Christians and just 2,770,000 Muslims. The study projects the Christian population will grow by nearly 10 million -- to 252,870,000 -- by 2020, compared to a growth of just over 1 million Muslims -- to 3,850,000. The projection for the year 2040, which is the presidential election year relevant to the false meme, the Christian population is predicted to be about 8 million higher -- at 260,640,000, while the Muslim population in the United States is projected to have increased by almost 3 million -- to 6,610,000. With the US population projected to be 377 million in 2040, the percentage of Muslims will less than 2% of the total.
There is no math model that allows for just 2% of the population to elect a U.S. president. The American electoral college system does allow for a minority to elect a president, but it has to be far larger than 2%. One analysis suggests that the very lowest level is 23% of the popular vote, given a certain distribution of voters.
The Pew research does project that "Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion" in the coming decades." The report says it current trends continue, by the year 2050:
- The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.
- Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion - though increasing in countries such as the United States and France - will make up a declining share of the world's total population.
- The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.
- In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.
- India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.
- In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.
You can read more about why the Muslim population is the world's fastest growing group in this Pew study.