Population - Age

Muslims were Britain’s youngest faith group in 2001; we can expect to see social maturity in 2011.

Muslims make the youngest faith group in Britain, with 2001 showing nearly two thirds of Muslims being under the age of 35 (71%), against a national picture under half (45%). There are clear differences in the school and pre-school years with the Muslim population occupying a higher proportion of these age bands. A third of British Muslims (33.8%) in 2001 were aged below 16 against the national segment of 12.7%, more than two and a half times higher.

If we consider a youth category age band ranging from ages 16 to 24, a band that also encompasses further education and (among males) higher incidences of crime, we see a population where 18.2% are aged 16 to 24 against a national picture of 10.9%, a difference of 7.3%. Although still a considerable difference, we can see a narrowing when compared against under 16s. These differences in population band segments continue to narrow further, especially in the early 30s, and the Census 2001 data shows the crossover point to happen around the mid 30s. In the 35 to 39 age band, the national picture shows a higher proportion than that occupied by Muslims by 1.5%, a difference that begins to rise for the national population. Only 7.7% of Muslims were aged 50 to 64 years in 2001 against the national 17.5%, a difference of approximately 10%. And just under 1% of British Muslims were over 75 years in 2001 against a national proportion of 7.6%.

The Census 2011 is likely to show a closing of these differences, but only slightly as this narrowing of difference is likely to be offset by an increase in numbers for children of school and pre-school ages. Whilst this may not alter the crossover point of 2001, somewhere around 35 years of age, we can expect to see a little narrowing in differences at the more mature age bands up to and around the age of retirement.

At 2%, Muslims had the lowest sole pensioner households
Census 2001
⅓ of Muslims were under 16
Census 2001
© Crown Copyright. Source data has been derived from ONS Census 2001, unless otherwise stated.