Muslim Demographic Video - Poppycock.
Have you seen the Muslim Demographic video like many millions of people have? Did you wonder how accurate the figures and claims made by the video were?
BBC Radio 4, More or Less in association with The Open University did.
The Muslim demographics video seen by millions, attempts to paint a picture of an Islamic Europe. BBC More or Less investigated the figures and claims made by the video's producers.
The video claims no culture has reversed a 1.9 fertility rate.
It lists, France, England, Greece, Germany, Italy and Spain as all having a fertility rate less than 1.9.
These are the total fertility rates, that's the average number of children, a group of women would have if they experienced the age specific fertility rates observed in a particular period through their child bearing life.
The age specific fertility rate can change from year to year, so demographers are very cautious about predicting future trends from current fertility rates.
Italy, total fertility rate 1995 - 1.19 and in 2006 - 1.35
Spain, total fertility rate 1998 1.16 and in 2007 - 1.40
UK, total fertility rate 2001 - 1.63 and in 2007 - 1.92
(the highest rate for 34 years)(Eurostat)
The video claims 90% of Europe's population growth is due to Islamic immigration.
EU statistics show that although in some years 90% of population growth has been down to inward migration, it typically is 60 - 80% in any given year, but that includes all immigrants, not just Muslims.
The video states that a typical French family has 1.8 children and that French Muslims have 8.1 children.
There is no source for that statistic, but we do know that in Algeria and Morocco, the two nations that send the largest number of Muslim immigrants to France, the fertility rate is 2.38(UN World Population Prospects 2008). Demographers also point out, the fertility rate of an immigrant population tends to move towards the fertility rate of the indigenous population over time.
The video states that 30% of French children 20 years or younger are Muslim and that in cities like Marseille, the figure grows to 45%. In 39 years, the video says France will be an Islamic Republic. That is a bold claim, since France doesn't collect data on religious affiliation.
Dr Andrew Hinde - Demographer and senior lecturer at Southampton University.
"I'm pretty sure you can find a part of Marseille, probably quite a large tract of Marseille, where that is true. The question is, what is that telling us? Is it telling us something about Muslim fertility, or is simply saying that there are a large number of Muslims in that part of Marseille and that the Muslim population is geographically segregated, or geographically concentrated?"
The video claims the Muslim population of Great Britain has risen 30 times in 30 years, from 82 000 to 2.5 million.
Dr Andrew Hinde.
"There is very little hard data on the number of Muslims in Britain, the only reasonably hard figure we've got is from the 2001 census, where a question was asked on religious belief, and they counted 1.6 million Muslims in 2001. That figure has likely increased since then, whether it has increased to 2.5 million, I don't know, probably not quite, the 2.5 million is an overestimate. What's slightly more interesting is the 82 000 thirty years ago, because that seems to me, to be an under estimate. In other words, they are starting from a smaller base and so of course, the growth rate seems much higher than it really is."
According to the video, HALF of newborns in the Netherlands are Muslim and in fifteen years, half the population will be Muslim.
The Dutch office of statistics estimates that Muslims make up only 5% of the population. This means that for Muslim women to give birth to half of the population, Muslim women would have to be giving birth at a rate of 14 x that of their non Muslim neighbors.
The video says there are 23 million Muslims in Russia, and the Russian army will be 40% Muslim in "a few short years".
Russia differs from the other nations already discussed, because it brought Muslim regions into the state hundreds of years ago, so there has been a large Muslim population in Russia for a long time. The exact figures are hard to know as there is no reliable data.
Russian Military Expert - Dr Jonathoin Eyal, Director of International Security Studies at The Royal United services Institute described the figure given for the military as "complete poppycock", and with Russia being committed to ending conscription, Muslims are likely to be under represented.
The video states that 25% of the Belgium population is Muslim.
The Belgium Office of Statistics shows that in 2008 the Muslim population was 6%.
The video claims that the German Federal statistics Office has stated, Germany will be a Muslim nation by the year 2050.
This claim was attributed to Mr Walter Rademacher, he is now the European Union's chief statistician and says, not only has been misquoted, he was arguing the exact opposite.
"The quotation which reads as if the German government believes Germany will become a Muslim state, is simply not true, there is no source that can show any such expression or opinion was made." Mr Walter Rademacher.
The video also states that the German Government thinks the European Muslim population will double to 104 million in 20 years.
Mr Walter Rademacher. "No, that is not true, the German Government does not think the Muslim population across Europe will double over the next forty or fifty years, and there is no source to prove any such assumption."
According to the video, in The USA 1970 there was 100 000 Muslims and now there are 9 million.
There is no source for this claim. 2007 Pew Research Center study shows there to be 2.35 million.
The video was correct in stating that Islam has surpassed Catholicism. Vatican statistics show Islam makes up an estimated 19.2% of the world's population, and 17.4% Catholic. Christians as a whole make up 33% of the world's population.
Population projection is an inexact science, no one knows how many Muslims will be living in Europe or anywhere else by 2050, but if we want to make a sensible prediction, we need to find the most accurate data available and treat that data with care. The makers of the Muslim Demographics video did neither.
The More or Less Radio show is produced by the BBC in association with the Open University.