Is The Muslim World Too Young?

Jon Emont in the Washington Post:

The overall trend is of a global Muslim community that has lowered its birthrate at a much slower pace than the rest of the world, according to Pew senior demographer Conrad Hackett.

“That Muslims are growing twice as fast as the world’s population is really striking and remarkable,” he said.

When young people lack economic opportunities and the prospect of being able to support families of their own, experts say, they are especially susceptible to the lure of anti-establishment ideology. In Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s, when countries in the region were experiencing youth bulges, that draw often was Marxism, Assaad noted. But it could take the form of austere varieties of Islam for disgruntled Muslim youths today.

I wish Emont had honed in more on Hackett’s point. We don’t know anything about why youth bulges in Muslim countries might be different from those elsewhere. We do know, however, that many of the factors that reduced fertility in non-Muslim societies have not had the same effect in Muslim ones.

If there’s something distinctive about “Muslim” youth bulge, I suspect it will lie more in the cause than the effect.