THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Muslim population in the state is increasing while the strength of Christians and Hindus is declining. According to a recent study, by 2050, Muslims will form 35 percent of the state’s population and the Hindus will fall below the 50 percent mark. The percentage of Christians will be reduced to just half of the Muslim figure.
“However, the Muslims are unlikely to overtake the Hindus as their fertility rate would also dip to below-replacement-level in a span of 10 to 15 years,” says the study.
The research was conducted on the demographic and socio-economic profile of religious communities by professor K.C. Zachariah of the Centre for Development Studies.
The population growth of all communities, including that of Muslims, has been declining over the decades. But the rate of decline among Muslims has been slower reflecting in their higher population size, the study says. The study titled ‘Religious denominations of Kerala’ also says that Muslim Sunnis, who constitute 94 percent of the Muslims in the state, are the largest religious community in Kerala with a population of 8.3 million – about 25 percent of the state’s total population. The Ezhava community is the second largest with 7.2 million.
As per the 1901 census, Muslims constituted 17.5 percent while Christians were only 14 percent. By 1951, the trend changed with Christian population becoming 20.9 and Muslims 17.5. The declining trend in Christian population is still continuing which came down to 18.4 as per the 2011 census, whereas the Muslim population reached 26.6 percent. Going by this trend, they will constitute 34.6 percent by 2051 and the Christian population will be only half that number with 16.1 percent, the study points out.
Hindus constituted 68.5 percent of the population as per the 1901 census. It came down to 56.3 by 2001 and 54.9 by 2011. As per this trend, it would fall to 49.3 percent by 2051, says the study.
The report also points out that despite having a high number of emigrants and huge remittances, the Muslim community cuts a sorry figure when it comes to education and representation in government jobs.
From an analysis of the data collected as part of the Kerala migration survey conducted earlier, Mr. Zachariah also points out that there was an increasing trend in the population of larger communities among all religions, whereas the population of the smaller communities was declining....